A Colonial Tour from TeachersFirst: Jamestown

Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States. Captain John Smith and Pocahontas were only two of the many characters associated with the Jamestown colony. It's an interesting place because archeologists are still discovering new information about how the colony operated.

Jamestown is close to both Yorktown and Williamsburg, so you can get a great three-for-one visit if your vacation takes you to the area. Plan to spend some time here if you want to see it all. The links below will help you get ready, or give you a good overview if you're vacationing with your computer!

 

Photo Credit: Image: 'Jamestown Home Construction.'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10261566@N02/1235946642

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Giza 3D - Dassault Systemes

Grades
6 to 12
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This tool is a stunning 3D reconstruction and tour of the Giza pyramids, Sphinx, and other structures. Watch a guided tour both around and inside the structures. This tour also ...more
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This tool is a stunning 3D reconstruction and tour of the Giza pyramids, Sphinx, and other structures. Watch a guided tour both around and inside the structures. This tour also shows structures at various points in history. To view in 3D, the 3D Lifeplayer needs to be installed. Note: This site may take a little time to load.

tag(s): architecture (65), egypt (62), pyramids (28)

In the Classroom

View this site in the classroom using a projector or interactive whiteboard. View the reconstruction of these artifacts from information collected during its discovery. Use the 3D tour to view the Necropolis, join a guided tour of the monuments, and look at the collected objects reconstructed from the site. Bring the history of Egypt to life. This is a powerful tool to show the role of Archaeology in reconstructing history. Compare this site to the work of archaeologists at Jamestown or other historic locations to talk about different techniques of science used to reveal history.

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Go Social Studies Go! - Kenneth Udhe

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6 to 12
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Go Social Studies Go! is a colorful and rich collection of multimedia books about Social Studies topics. It is divided into four main sections: World History, US History, Geography,...more
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Go Social Studies Go! is a colorful and rich collection of multimedia books about Social Studies topics. It is divided into four main sections: World History, US History, Geography, and World Religions. Learn about nine different world religions. There are over ten different regions to explore (Middle East, Caribbean, Russia, China, and more). Topics of US History include slavery in America, political parties, various presidents, inventors, Jamestown, and more. There are also world history topics: Marco Polo, Ancient China, African Empires, Life in Nazi Germany, and many others. Choose any section to find booklets containing images, videos, text, and links to additional resources. Click on links within each section to view content. This site was written by a teacher for his students. The text and content maintain student interest and enjoyment using student-friendly language.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): australia (25), china (59), civil war (131), continents (41), england (53), explorers (52), france (36), germany (21), italy (13), japan (61), martin luther king (33), native americans (65), north america (18), religions (50), renaissance (31), romans (25), rome (24), russia (28), south america (31), spain (6), washington (30), world war 1 (38)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use in middle and high school Social Studies classes. Select content to view as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Introduce the site to students and let them explore specific sections on their own. Share a link to the portion of the site desired through your class website or blog. Have students or student groups create online posters using Check This (reviewed here). This site is also a useful reference for students to "look up" a major historic event to better understand historical fiction or even movies. Make it available as a general reference link on your class web page.
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Virtual Jamestown - Virtual Jamestown

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6 to 12
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home ...more
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home page to see all the offerings. There are lesson plans, videos, animations, and searchable documents. A searchable database of indentured servant records brings students closer to the lives of real people who lived in early American colonies. A virtual view of the fort at Jamestown has much greater impact than a picture in a book, and it allows you to feel as though you are really there. One section of the site is devoted to the Native American perspective on the settlement of Jamestown; listen to Chesapeake Indians. Some of the other activities include viewing John Smith's voyage maps, browsing through real records of the Virginia Company at Jamestown, and reading the actual letters of major colonization participants from the latter 1500s and early 1600s. This site intends to be the one-stop shop for authentic Jamestown research.

tag(s): colonial america (102), colonization (15), india (37), jamestown (10)

In the Classroom

Spend a few minutes at this site, and you will be swept away to life on the James River 400 years ago. The zoomable maps and rotating views of Jamestown artifacts would be effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Plan a day to explore together or with partners to find out specifics about the colony. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the main page and click on "Teaching Materials" to find several wonderful lesson plans on Jamestown. For teachers who want to bring authentic, first-hand accounts and records into the classroom, this site provides a wealth of actual documentation. We strongly suggest you use the Site Index to get the extensive view of this website's offerings.
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National Women's History Museum - National Women's History Museum

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7 to 12
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information...more
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information on women in World War II, women and education, women and the Progressive movement, and women spies. There are good photographs of artifacts from the women's movement, and a nice collection of lesson plans, grouped by grade level.

tag(s): jamestown (10), women (88), womens suffrage (14), world war 2 (139)

In the Classroom

Of course, the site would be useful to students doing research on the women's movement in general, or on the role of women during several important historical eras. In the "educational resources" section, there is a collection of quotations from women that would be great for creating displays for women's history month. There is also a group of quizzes that could be adapted for classroom use. The section focused on the women of Jamestown includes the stories of Native American women as well as the role of early European settler women and could supplement the usual Thanksgiving lessons on the new American colonies. There are also free lesson plans and classroom activities that teachers should take advantage of!

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History is Fun: Jamestown and Yorktown - Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

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5 to 12
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Indeed, history appears to be 'fun' when you see the extensive historical action at this official Jamestown and Yorktown website. This site promotes learning about America's early history...more
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Indeed, history appears to be 'fun' when you see the extensive historical action at this official Jamestown and Yorktown website. This site promotes learning about America's early history in the Jamestown area through a variety of venues. Watch quick videos, plan your Jamestown field trip or vacation, or take advantage of the abundant curriculum materials available to educators, including .pdf documents: timelines, comprehensive lesson plans, and resource materials. Scroll to the bottom of the curriculum materials page for thorough summary documents of Jamestown and Yorktown.

tag(s): colonial america (102), colonization (15), india (37), jamestown (10)

In the Classroom

Using a projector or interactive whiteboard, you may enhance your lesson by viewing the short one-minute videos. What a great activator or anticipatory set! With a quick click, this site allows you to buy tickets to these two historical places, so you will want to monitor students.
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The Road to Jamestown - Mark Whitling

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5 to 12
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Explore Jamestown from across the Atlantic Ocean. This British site claims to have the 'real' story of the Jamestown settlement through the real life story of Thomas Smythe and ...more
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Explore Jamestown from across the Atlantic Ocean. This British site claims to have the 'real' story of the Jamestown settlement through the real life story of Thomas Smythe and his contemporaries. Journey through the web links to discover the important places and people who made the journey in 1607 possible. View the photo gallery of maps and important castles where crucial decisions were made, completing the story of colonization.

tag(s): colonization (15), india (37), jamestown (10)

In the Classroom

This site arms teachers with a complete picture of how Jamestown was settled. Students who are doing extensive research on the subject will benefit from the genealogy of the important participants. For an American teacher, it is worth viewing this U.K. site for a well-rounded picture on the subject. Ask your students to compare and contrast this portrayal with one of the American sites and make a Venn diagram of the comparison on your interactive whiteboard.

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The Pocahontas Myth - The Powhatan Renape Nation

Grades
6 to 12
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The story of the first settlement at Jamestown usually features the brave Indian princess Pocahontas. This site provides a retelling of the Pocahantas story by the people of the ...more
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The story of the first settlement at Jamestown usually features the brave Indian princess Pocahontas. This site provides a retelling of the Pocahantas story by the people of the Powhatan tribe-- a rewriting that questions whether Pocahontas actually saved John Smith at all. The site takes particular exception to the recent Disney movie, Pocahontas. The discussion outlined here would make a very good "counterpoint" lesson on the generally accepted story of the Jamestown settlement.

tag(s): debate (34), jamestown (10)

In the Classroom

Students usually enjoy "debunking" myths of history and learning ways that their teachers or textbooks might be wrong. This site provides another viewpoint in the well-known Pocahontas story. There are also possibilities here for discussions of racial stereotyping and the way Pocahontas is portrayed in the media, particularly in the Walt Disney film. Use this discussion to prompt a persuasive writing assignment or history essay on differeing views of history.

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Jamestown Online Adventure

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4 to 7
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Imagine that you are the governor of the Jamestown colony, relying on your problem-solving skills, information from fellow colonists, and advice from Native Americans to ensure the...more
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Imagine that you are the governor of the Jamestown colony, relying on your problem-solving skills, information from fellow colonists, and advice from Native Americans to ensure the success and growth of the settlement. This interactive game places visitors in that role as it keeps score of choices made regarding food, health, money, and morale. At the end, a detailed report on the state of the colony (based on the user's decisions) is generated.

tag(s): jamestown (10), virginia (16)

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James River Plantations - National Park Service

Grades
7 to 12
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Studying Colonial America? Don't just rely on the facts in the textbook. View the past through the lens of the everyday life of the gentry, and take a virtual field ...more
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Studying Colonial America? Don't just rely on the facts in the textbook. View the past through the lens of the everyday life of the gentry, and take a virtual field trip along the James River to view the stately 18th century homes of Virginia. This site explores the architecture, lifestyle, and history of the era, and offers an interactive map, essays describing the significance of each plantation in American history, and many vintage sketches of the individual locations.

tag(s): colonial america (102), jamestown (10), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

This site clamors to be the focus of a virtual field trip for secondary students. After prowling through the site yourself, create an itinerary (with related discussion questions) to guide your students through the content.
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You are the Archaeologist - Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities

Grades
4 to 7
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Become a virtual archaeologist and help excavate a site in Jamestown Virginia to reconstruct the life and culture of colonial America. After spending some time in the "field" unearthing...more
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Become a virtual archaeologist and help excavate a site in Jamestown Virginia to reconstruct the life and culture of colonial America. After spending some time in the "field" unearthing artifacts, visitors can enter the virtual lab and begin to catalog and analyze the objects. Students are challenged to identify and determine the approximate ages of the artifacts, while strengthening creative problem-solving skills. Another virtual activity on the site guides budding archaeologists through the historical recreation of a 17th century structure from a single posthole.

tag(s): jamestown (10), virginia (16)

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Unearthing Secret America - PBS

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6 to 12
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers...more
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers of Jamestown and the hardships they endured. The lives of slaves are also examined through artifacts that reveal specific details of their daily lives. Students can discover what a forensic anthropologist looks for when examining ancient human remains through an interactive "Digging for Clues" feature. Use this site to enhance a unit on Colonial America. It truly provides a historically accurate glimpse of the European and African cultures that made up the fabric of early America.

tag(s): colonial america (102)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on the "educators" portion of this site! Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval - a great resource for a US history classroom.
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Rediscovering Jamestown - Virginia Historical Society

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6 to 12
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This site, created by the Virginia Historical Society, provides a look at recent archaeological activities around the site of the original Jamestown fort and settlement. In addition...more
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This site, created by the Virginia Historical Society, provides a look at recent archaeological activities around the site of the original Jamestown fort and settlement. In addition to descriptions and a number of photos, the site offers additional links to other sites dealing with Jamestown and early English settlements in Virginia.

tag(s): explorers (52)

In the Classroom

Use the map of Jamestown as a supplement to a lesson on the colony, and how early settlers lived. There is also information about the early settlement of Jamestown and the complications the recent immigrants faced while there. Beyond the map, students can use this site to find out information on James Fort and what these excavations are showing about life then. If in need of an activity, use this site in conjunction with several others, having students create a multimedia presentation detailing the Jamestown colony and what life was like then. After students have completed their research about Jamestown, have them create a multimedia presentation using Yodio, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about Jamestown. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Pocahontas, From Fiction to Fact: Using Disney's Film to Teach the - Yale University

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4 to 6
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This unit uses the Disney movie and two other versions to discover the truth about Pocahontas, the Powhatans, their encounters with the English in 1607, and the geography and climate...more
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This unit uses the Disney movie and two other versions to discover the truth about Pocahontas, the Powhatans, their encounters with the English in 1607, and the geography and climate of Virginia.

tag(s): jamestown (10), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this page! Great for an English classroom, plus the activities work on creating critical thinking in students. Be sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on.

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