Jamestown

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The lesson introduces students to the Jamestown settlement in 1607 and its significance to America and the original 13 colonies.  Most students are aware of the 13 Original Colonies but often know little about the first permanent English settlement in North America.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to colonies, the British, or other similar social studies lessons.  It is recommended teachers use some of the worksheets from the additional resources to enhance learning.

Jamestown Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Jamestown
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 3-4 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson introduces students to the Jamestown settlement, the first permanent English settlement in America.  It also details its significance to America and the original 13 colonies.  Your students have almost certainly heard of Pilgrims, but will be surprised to learn the Pilgrims were not the first people to arrive in America.  The lesson can be used in conjunction with other lessons related to  the 13 colonies, the British, or other similar social studies lessons.  Many worksheets from the additional resources section can be used to enhance learning.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask: Did you know that the Pilgrims were not the first people to arrive in America?  Who were the first people to arrive to America?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Some students may respond- Native Americans, but also ask students if they think there may have been other ships traveling to North America before the Pilgrims arrived.  Ask students why they think people may have wanted to travel to America.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Jamestown.
  4. Distribute Jamestown content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Discuss responses to questions in the 1st  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Allow students sufficient time to discuss and respond to each of the questions.  Encourage students to work cooperatively, and to think through each question.  (responses will vary, but may include laws and responsibilities for the colony to be better organized and for the settlers to work together to get the work done.)
  6. When completed, allow students to share responses. Students may debate some of the responses, and must reasonably support the laws, responsibilities, etc.  Discuss other things that may not be addressed in the activity questions.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Explain instructions.  Check and review the students’ responses.  Discuss the advantages and disadvantages aloud.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask students: If you had a choice in the 1600, would you have wanted to travel on one of the ships to North America? Why or why not?
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

3rd Grade, 4th Grade

Subject

Social Studies