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Internet Lessons for Learning About 17th Century Colonial America

How did European Colonies in North America Differ?
Look at colonial America from a geographic perspective. Locate the physical features of North America, the boundaries of lands controlled by the English, French, Spanish and Dutch, and explain how geography influenced claims and settlement. Describe the economic, political, and social factors that influenced the development of the colonies. Create a persuasive poster to bring immigrants for a specific colony. Standard 5.2.4, 5.3.1 and 5.4.5

Summarize the Reasons Why English Settlers Came to America
Using the Mayflower Compact as a primary source, identify and describe the reasons why the Pilgrims came to North America. Standards 5.2.2, 5.4.3, 8.2.1 and 11.1.2

Royal Charter from the King - A Problem-Based Activity
Know ye that His Royal Highness, the King of England, has hereby offered his approval to a venture establishing a colony across the seas on the shores of North America. This privilege has been extended to thy group contingent upon thou providing plans for such a colony. Such plans will, to the best available knowledge, insure the success of the colony and the health and welfare of the King's subjects. Standards 5.2.2 and 5.4.2

Leadership in Jamestown
This lesson is part of the Virtual Jamestown Project listed above. As members of the Privy Council, advisers to King James, students have the opportunity to select the first leader of Jamestown settlement. After debating the relative merits of each applicant, they make a ratings analysis chart for the three candidates, and defend their selection in front of the king, giving at least one reason for their choice. Standard 5.4.5 and 5.4.7

Jamestown Changes
In this lesson students study census data showing the names and occupations of early settlers of Jamestown to discern how life changed in the settlement during the first few years after it was founded. They can then create a simulated Jamestown document that could have been a primary source from the colony. Standard 5.4.5

Jamestown's Economy
Students analyze the economic needs of the Native Americans and colonists by identifying goods made and sold by and between them. They identify strengths and needs of the early colonists and evaluate the steps they took to meet those needs. They synthesize the information related to the goods produced and needed by the early colonists and Native Americans and make predictions as to what goods and services are essential for any civilization. Standards 5.4.1 and 5.4.5

Life on Plymouth Plantation
Assume the character of a child who traveled to the New World aboard the Mayflower. The child they are portraying is an actual historical person who came from England to the New World in 1620. As many Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower did, your students will send letters to their friends and family back in England. In their letters they will explain what Plymouth is like and will advise their family back in England as to what they should bring with them when they make their journey to America.

American Colonial Life in the Late 1700s: Distant Cousins
Life in the thirteen original British colonies was very different than it is today. In this lesson, students explore daily life and its influences in the late 1700s for two families in different colonies—Delaware and Massachusetts. Students will become historical detectives and learn to gather information from artifacts and make inferences about the lives and times they represent. They will then use what they have learned to write historical fiction in the form of friendly letters between fictitious cousins in Massachusetts and Delaware.

Can You Survive at Jamestown? WebQuest
In 1601, some 105 adventurers set off from England to try and establish the first permanent English colony in the New World. They settled in what is now the state of Virginia and called their colony first James Fort, and then James Towne, in honor of James I, the King of England. The early years of the colony were nearly a total disaster. Almost half of the settlers died due to poor choices in settlement location, management of resources, and quarrels with the indigenous Powhatan Indians. In groups, act as the Jamestown colony leaders and research the answers to one of the questions asked in The Jamestown Online Adventure. Standards 5.4.1 and 5.4.2

Market to Market: Colonial Economy from 1600-1750 - A Virtual Museum
If you were among the first colonists to settle in the new land and you needed a pair of shoes, a hat, or a bed, you probably traded with your neighbor. During those early years, if you needed something, you traded your skills for the skills or products of another. In this Virtual Museum, learn about how people earned a living, what they traded with England, and how stores began. Recreate a Colonial Town Square where you are the trades person. Standard 5.4.5

The Royal News: Britain's Virginia Colony
You are the editor of The Royal News, a 17th century British newspaper, and are preparing an issue on the royal colony of Virginia in the New World. There is a great deal of conversation going on in London about the American colony, and the king has sent several noblemen (who will serve as "reporters") to travel to Jamestown and do some research and observation. You will use this information to prepare a newspaper which will inform the British public about their colony overseas. As the king is so fond of reminding you, remember that your audience is the upper class of British society, and that they have mixed feelings about some of Britain's colonial efforts. The Royal News is highly read, and many will be interested in what you have to report about Jamestown and Virginia. Standard 5.4.5

Three Religions in Virginia
On this journey, you will assume a role representing the English colonists, the Africans, or the Native Americans of Jamestown. The governor has decided to give each group the opportunity to voice opinions and support reasons for wanting to have religious liberties. He would like for each group to draft a document defining its faith and to give reasons why its religion best suits the colony. He has ordered his men to instruct each group to research its religion and to examine the social issues surrounding these beliefs. Through this journey, each group will create a document of religious liberties to which they believe that they are entitled to practice while residing in Jamestown. Standards 5.4.3, 8.2.5 and 11.3.0 general

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