ERIC Number: ED376109
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Early Jamestown: A Unit of Study for Grades 5-8.
Pearson, Jim; Watkins, Bryna
This unit is one of a series that represents specific moments in history from which students focus on the meanings of landmark events. By studying a crucial turning point in history students become aware that choices had to be made by real human beings, that those decisions were the result of specific factors, and that they set in motion a series of historical consequences. Through primary sources, this unit explores the founding and early development of Jamestown and the relationship between the colonists and the indigenous people. Although the colony was established by the Virginia Company of London in the hope of making a profit by finding gold, locating a trade route to Asia, or harnessing the labor of the natives, only the discovery that tobacco could be raised profitably permitted the colony's survival. The colonists' first years were marked by disease, disaster, and death brought about largely by inappropriate expectations, poor planning, and an inability to adapt to the unfamiliar world in which they found themselves. During this same period, the foundations of Anglo-Indian relations in Virginia also were being laid. Students need to understand how very tenuous England's early efforts at colonization actually were. They need to learn how the haphazard and ill-considered decisions of the first English colonists had a profound impact on Anglo-Indian relations. Finally, this unit allows students to experience history in a way that lets them see the past not as a series of inevitable events, but as the meandering record of human choices. (Author/DK)
Descriptors: American Indian History, American Indians, Colonial History (United States), Colonialism, Cultural Interrelationships, Culture Conflict, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, History Instruction, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Land Settlement, Middle Schools, Primary Sources
National Center for History in the Schools, 10880 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 761, Los Angeles, CA 90024-4108.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for History in the Schools, Los Angeles, CA.
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A