Overview


Subject/Sub-Subject: Social Studies/U.S. History


Title: Jamestown Settlement - Overcoming Hardship and Conflict


Summary:

Students use primary sources, including maps and diaries, to understand the hardships faced by the English colonists at Jamestown, the role of the Powhatan and the influence of key people in the survival of Jamestown.


Understanding Goal

Adaptability, leadership, and resourcefulness are necessary in order to survive in a new environment.

Investigative Question

How did the colonists overcome hardship and famine to eventually build a successful colony at Jamestown?

Grade(s): 4, K
Audience: General
Learners: Class of 4th graders, General Education with three English Language Learners.
Required Vocabulary: N/A
Prior Content Knowledge: N/A
Standards

Virginia Standards of Learning Social Studies - Virginia Studies - 4th grade
VA.VS.2.e. Virginia Studies: Virginia: The Land and Its First Inhabitants: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the geography and early inhabitants of Virginia by describing how American Indians (First Americans) adapted to the climate and their environment to secure food, clothing, and shelter.

VS.3.a.1.
Students are expected to know that some European countries, including England, were in competition to increase their wealth and power by expanding their empires to America.

VS.3.a.2.
Students are expected to know that the first permanent English settlement in America was Jamestown, founded in 1607 as an economic venture.

VA.VS.3.b. Virginia Studies: Colonization and Conflict: 1607 through the American Revolution: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by describing how geography influenced the decision to settle at Jamestown.

VA.VS.3.e. Virginia Studies: Colonization and Conflict: 1607 through the American Revolution: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by identifying the importance of the arrival of Africans and women. .
to the Jamestown settlement.
VA.VS.3.f. Virginia Studies: Colonization and Conflict: 1607 through the American Revolution: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by describing the hardships faced by settlers at Jamestown and the changes that took place to ensure survival.

VS.3.f.1.: Students are expected to know that the English colonists found life in Jamestown harder than they had expected.

VA.VS.3.g. Virginia Studies: Colonization and Conflict: 1607 through the American Revolution: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by describing the interactions between the English settlers and the Powhatan people, including the contributions of the Powhatans to the survival of the settlers.

VS.3.g.1. Students are expected to know that the Powhatan people and the English settlers at Jamestown established trading relationships and for a while had positive interactions.

VA.VS.4.a. Virginia Studies: Colonization and Conflict: 1607 through the American Revolution: The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by explaining the importance of agriculture and its influence on the institution of slavery.

VS.4.a.1. Students are expected to know that the success of tobacco as a cash crop transformed life in the Virginia colony and encouraged slavery.

Field Tests

Click on the title to expand the description of each field test

Sources

Jamestown Settlement - Overcoming Hardship and Conflict

Understanding Goal

Adaptability, leadership, and resourcefulness are necessary in order to survive in a new environment.

Click on an image for more information.

Slideshow Icon View as a slideshow
The Capital and the Bay: Capt. John Smith, 1580-1631 The history of Virginia, in four parts. I. The history of the first settlement of Virginia, and the government thereof, to the year 1706. II. The natural productions and conveniences of the country, suited to trade and improvement. III. The native Indians, their religion, laws, and customs, in war and peace. IV. The present state of the country, as to the polity of the government, and the improvements of the land, the 10th of June 1720. By a native and inhabitant of the place. (Page before 199) Life of George Washington--The farmer / painted by Stearns ; lith. by Rgnier, imp. Lemercier, Paris How they took him prisoner in the Oaze, 1607 The wedding of Pocahontas with John Rolfe / Geo Spohni.
[Village of Secotan] / T.B. Poquanum selling Nahaut to Thomas Dexter for a suit of clothes, 1630 [The Englishmen's arrival in Virginia] Jean Nicot presenting the tobacco plant to Queen Catherine de Medicis and the Grand Prior of the House of Lorraine 1655 [i.e., 1561] The generall historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, together with The true travels, adventures and observations, and A sea grammar / (page 90) The history of Virginia, in four parts. I. The history of the first settlement of Virginia, and the government thereof, to the year 1706. II. The natural productions and conveniences of the country, suited to trade and improvement. III. The native Indians, their religion, laws, and customs, in war and peace. IV. The present state of the country, as to the polity of the government, and the improvements of the land, the 10th of June 1720. By a native and inhabitant of the place. (page before 141) Sir Francis Drake

Required Materials

Files

JamestwnSurvHardshp.ppt

Directions

Investigation

Step 1 Put students in groups of four or five each. Hand out copies of images and document page placed in order and separated according to the PowerPoint presentation. Ask them to look over the groups of images and discuss.
Step 2 Show students the Village of Scotan and The English Arrive in Virginia handouts and the first slide. Ask them to look over the pictures and compare with the following questions in mind: How were the early Native Americans doing before the Europeans arrived? Were the English colonist prepared when they arrived? How did they chose where to build Jamestown? Was that a good decision? Review: On May 14, 1607, the Virginia Company explorers landed on Jamestown Island, to establish the Virginia English colony on the banks of the James River 60 miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. They landed there because the deep water channel let their ships ride close to shore. They also thought the peninsula would be a good place for protection and for a water supply.
Step 3 Ask students to look at the next presentation slide and ask: What is meant by adapt? Did the Native Americans adapt to their environment? How? Ask students to describe natural resources and how they were used by the Native Americans.
Step 4 Ask students to think about the colonists. Ask questions to guide students toward a discussion of 16th & 17th Century English Society. Pass around a copy of the list of first Planters. What about the English colonists? Who were they? How many Gentlemen are on this list? How many laborers? What did most of them spend their time doing? What was the result? Compare them with the natives. Did they know how to use the available resources for food, clothing, shelter? The first colonists were ill-prepared for the work they had to do. They were gentlemen who knew nothing of taming the wilderness. Some were more interested in finding gold. These gentlemen, arrived with carpenters and other laborers including young boys who came with the original settlers or later on supply ships. These boys did the work that was usually done by women. While the natives had adapted and used natural resources for their needs, the settlers were inexperienced and had little knowledge of how to survive.
Step 5 Have students consider the cooperation and conflict among the Powhatan and English settlers. Ask questions to guide the discussion: How did the Powhatan people and the English settlers interact? Did the natives have anything the English needed and vice versa? What might have caused problems between the two groups? Remind students: The Powhatan traded food, furs, and leather with the English in exchange for tools, pots, guns, and other goods. The Powhatan people contributed to the survival of the Jamestown settlers in several ways: Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, believed the English and Powhatan could live together in harmony and began a friendly relationship with them. The Powhatan's introduced new crops to the English, including corn and tobacco. But, the Powhatan realized the settlement would continue to grow and more English would come and take over their land.
Step 6 Have students consider and compare two of the Jamestown leaders: John Smith and Lord de La Warr. Ask students about the hardships faced by the settlers. How did the settlers deal with these hardships? What things had to change to overcome these hardships? What does it take to be a strong leader or a good leader? Remind students: The peninsula they chose to live on was marshy and the drinking water was unhealthy and many died of starvation and disease. Many of the colonists lacked skills necessary to provide for themselves. The arrival of supply ships, the strong leadership of Captain John Smith, and growing crops for food helped the colony to survive. He traded with the natives and knew them. Captain Smith, however, was in an accident and had to return to England. Because so many settlers died and they lacked food and supplies they decided to abandon Jamestown and return to England. But while they were sailing down the James River they met Lord de la Warr with new settlers and supplies. They returned to Jamestown and Lord de la Warr became the appointed Governor of Virginia. He governed by strict rules. Because he was a nobleman, would he have more power or influence than John Smith?"
Step 7 Introduce the idea of a resource the English hadnt counted on tobacco. Tell students: John Rolfe planted a new variety of tobacco, that was much milder than Europeans had used before. He was also able to ship it to England without spoiling. He became a successful tobacco farmer and sold his crop to English merchants. Tobacco became the most profitable agricultural product grown in Virginia. Tobacco was sold in England as a cash crop. Ask students questions to stimulate thinking about economic development. How did tobacco help the colonists adapt to their new environment? How was their adaptation different from the natives?
Step 8 Ask students how would this success with tobacco crops change life in Virginia? Tell students: The successful planting of tobacco depended on a reliable and inexpensive source of labor. If there werent many laborers or farmers who would work in the fields? Africans arrived in Jamestown against their will. Indentured servants, from Europe and also some African, served for 5 to 7 years before becoming free. The arrival of Africans made it possible to expand the tobacco economy. The Virginia colony became dependent on slave labor, and the dependence lasted a long time. Also, the arrival of women made it possible for the settlers to establish families and a more permanent settlement at Jamestown. Women also became part of the work force. Ask a summary question: Would you consider the Jamestown settlement a success?

Best Instructional Practices


Understanding Goal

Adaptability, leadership, and resourcefulness are necessary in order to survive in a new environment.

Investigative Question

How did the colonists overcome hardship and famine to eventually build a successful colony at Jamestown?


Analysis of Student Learning


Students were given the chance to think about the obstacles that the settlers had to overcome. When we talked about how many had died after three ships delivered settlers, students came to the conclusions that it took strong leadership (e.g. John Smith: "If you don't work, you don't eat.") and perseverance. I was impressed that most of the 4th graders were able to look at images, notice details and make insightful remarks. Two new ideas were presented: Was John Rolfe's marriage to Pocahontas for the sake of alliance? Was he more interested in developing trade with the Powhatan? Was his interest in his tobacco crop and trade more important to him? Would you consider the Jamestown colony to be a success? Whose success: the natives; English laborers; English gentlemen; English king; Africans brought as slaves?"


Analysis of Best Instructional Practices (learn more)

Literacy Instruction Literacy Instruction(learn more)

Visual

All lesson segments had visual cues. Students were asked to interpret images, discuss what they already knew, and ask questions. All were prompted by visual images. The visual aspect and the review were more helpful for the English Language Learners.

Teaching for Understanding Teaching for Understanding(learn more)

Explicit Understanding Goal

When students discussed the obstacles that had to be overcome and what had to change in order to overcome them, they had to think more deeply. Students couldn't just give fact-based answers. They were pushed for more. They were asked to consider the adaptability, leadership and resourcefulness of both colonists and natives. By comparing cultures, individuals, and events, they had to think more deeply about what circumstances were encountered and how and why people reacted.

Check Misconceptions

Many students kept referring to recent movies to explain Pocahontas and the relationship between the Native Americans and English. When I asked the question, "Was John Rolfe's marriage to Pocahontas for the sake of an alliance?" the response was no, "they were in love." We discussed how films, art, and literature may not always portray an accurate accounting of what really happened. The idea that Pocahontas was 11 when she met John Smith and he was 27 gave them another viewpoint.

Technology Integration Technology Integration(learn more)

Whole Group Presentation

The teacher presented a PowerPoint slide show with question prompts, after students were given the opportunity to view and discuss the lesson images.

Reflections and Recommendations


I think some of the questions presented to fourth graders may have been a little too "profound." When I asked the final question about the success of Jamestown, e.g. "who would have considered it a success?" I got a few blank stares. The teacher that I was co-teaching with found some of my asides interesting as did most of the students. When two students referred to films for the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, she guided them back to what we know based on diaries and historical information. The question of the marriage between Pocahontas and John Rolfe for the sake of an alliance was also an interesting point for students to consider. This discussion backed up the points that were made previously about British society at the time. Not all people married for love; there were many arranged marriages for various reasons. John Rolfe could have married Pocahontas in order to gain Powhatan's favor. Not a very romantic idea, but it gave them something to consider. The images were helpful for most students in supporting discussion and helped the ESOL students to participate and make meaning of the presentation. All students enjoyed the few call outs with paraphrased quotations. If I were doing this lesson again, I'd like to have more call outs that could better explain the concepts. There were a couple of students who did seem to lack comprehension. I'd also like to put this into a SMART Board lesson and allow students to assign the paraphrased quotes to show their understanding.

Credits

Authors and Contributors

Yvonne Forsbergh
Waples Mill Elementary School, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

Library of Congress Items

Library of Congress items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Library of Congress Item
The Capital and the Bay: * (1600-1925). The Capital and the Bay:. Library of Congress: American Memory, The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925.
Capt. John Smith, 1580-1631 unknown. Capt. John Smith, 1580-1631. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
The history of Virginia, in four parts. I. The history of the first settlement of Virginia, and the government thereof, to the year 1706. II. The natural productions and conveniences of the country, suited to trade and improvement. III. The native Indians, their religion, laws, and customs, in war and peace. IV. The present state of the country, as to the polity of the government, and the improvements of the land, the 10th of June 1720. By a native and inhabitant of the place. (Page before 199) Beverley, R. 1722. The history of Virginia, in four parts. I. The history of the first settlement of Virginia, and the government thereof, to the year 1706. II. The natural productions and conveniences of the country, suited to trade and improvement. III. The native Indians, their religion, laws, and customs, in war and peace. IV. The present state of the country, as to the polity of the government, and the improvements of the land, the 10th of June 1720. By a native and inhabitant of the place. (Page before 199). Library of Congress: American Memory, The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925.
Life of George Washington--The farmer / painted by Stearns ; lith. by Rgnier, imp. Lemercier, Paris Stearns, Junius Brutus (1853). Life of George Washington--The farmer / painted by Stearns ; lith. by Rgnier, imp. Lemercier, Paris. Library of Congress: American Memory, By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present.
How they took him prisoner in the Oaze, 1607 Unknown. 1629. How they took him prisoner in the Oaze, 1607. Library of Congress: America's Library, Meet Amazing Americans.
The wedding of Pocahontas with John Rolfe / Geo Spohni.
Unknown. c1867. The wedding of Pocahontas with John Rolfe / Geo Spohni. . Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
[Village of Secotan] / T.B. Bry, T. 1619. [Village of Secotan] / T.B. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
Poquanum selling Nahaut to Thomas Dexter for a suit of clothes, 1630 Unknown. n.d.. Poquanum selling Nahaut to Thomas Dexter for a suit of clothes, 1630. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
[The Englishmen's arrival in Virginia] Bry, T. 1590. [The Englishmen's arrival in Virginia]. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.
Jean Nicot presenting the tobacco plant to Queen Catherine de Medicis and the Grand Prior of the House of Lorraine 1655 [i.e., 1561] Unknown. c1868. Jean Nicot presenting the tobacco plant to Queen Catherine de Medicis and the Grand Prior of the House of Lorraine 1655 [i.e., 1561]. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Prints & Photographs Reading Room.
The history of Virginia, in four parts. I. The history of the first settlement of Virginia, and the government thereof, to the year 1706. II. The natural productions and conveniences of the country, suited to trade and improvement. III. The native Indians, their religion, laws, and customs, in war and peace. IV. The present state of the country, as to the polity of the government, and the improvements of the land, the 10th of June 1720. By a native and inhabitant of the place. (page before 141) Beverley, R. 1722. The history of Virginia, in four parts. I. The history of the first settlement of Virginia, and the government thereof, to the year 1706. II. The natural productions and conveniences of the country, suited to trade and improvement. III. The native Indians, their religion, laws, and customs, in war and peace. IV. The present state of the country, as to the polity of the government, and the improvements of the land, the 10th of June 1720. By a native and inhabitant of the place. (page before 141). Library of Congress: American Memory, The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925.
Sir Francis Drake Unknown. n.d.. Sir Francis Drake. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs.

Other Items

Other items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Other Item
The generall historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, together with The true travels, adventures and observations, and A sea grammar / (page 90) Unknown. n.d.. The generall historie of Virginia, New England & the Summer Isles, together with The true travels, adventures and observations, and A sea grammar / (page 90). Other: American Memory, The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600-1925.