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FACTS Design - Armando Arechiga

Page history last edited by Armando Arechiga 12 years, 1 month ago

The Colony Project


Brainstorming - This project is mainly focused on introducing student to primary sources. Students will read original documents and view interactive maps to learn about the challenges faced by American colonist.  By guiding students through websites, solutions will be developed to address the difficulties original settlers faced. Students will develop "decision tree" graphic organizers using Kidspiration and these will be organized into a website by GT groups.





Disciplinary Structures: Students will be researchers, historians, anthropologist and planners.


Disciplinary Processes:  In order to understand the challenges faced by colonial settlers, students will have to research online sources such as virtualjamestown.org, colonialwilliamsburg.com, PBS Colonial House and other primary source websites.   Their research will help them to understand the historical context as well as the economic situations of the times. They will access online databases in order to create a list of indentured servants to go to the New World. As anthropologist they will examine the clash of cultures of Native Americans and Europeans, and how each one adapts to their environment. They will devise a plan to help guarantee the success of their new colony.


Disciplinary Discourse:  

     Narrative - The student has just been appointed to the Virgina Company Board of Governors, but the challenges of the job become evident when they recieve a letter from John Smith detailing the problems of the new colony.  They must respond with a plan, quickly, before all is lost, including their own head!

     Expository - The expository will be developed through historical websites, virtual maps, slide shows, and interactive websites.


Problem Solving

Authentic Problem: Students will have to create elements of a plan for saving a colony in the new world that is facing ruin. Students will have to analyze causes of the failures and develop possible remedies. Students will study motivations for settling, patterns of settlements, and economic patterns in order to develop a successful colony.


Strategies: Students will need to understand the historical setting of the colonies and the different cultures that were involved. Students will have to draw conclusions as to the causes of the colony's failure and make predictions on what could be done to correct the situation. 



    Symbols -Students will be introduced to primary sources of writings in 17th century English which will be analyzed and interpreted. Students will view visual information in the form of slide shows, zoomable maps, and virtual images. Students will also interact with websites that present decision making-role playing games.  Artifacts of archeaological digs will be viewed.

     Discourse Forms - Students will be drawing information from various sources and having to synthesize concepts to create understanding. Students will use role playing/decision making interactive websites to understand concepts of presenting information visually and literally.

     Cognitive Proccesses - Students will developing an understanding of needs of the colonies, as well as colonist's interactions with the environment and cultures that already exist in the New World. These understandings will form the basis of their plans to overcome the challenges faced by colonist.


Using Information

Students will search through a limited number of websites that will be provided to them. This is to limit the volume of information students will need to sort through. There are still many links to search and many options to inquire about. Students will use a database to create searches and be introduced to boolean search strategies. The information gained will lead the students to examine the needs of colonial era settlers and create a list of jobs and tools required. The database will be used to identify actual colonist with those skills. The DEAPR method will be used to create decision trees which deal with concerns facing colonists. These will be modeled from role-playing websites and then designed and encoded by students. These will be shared, assembled and published in the form of website game.




A1: Read Introductory email "Congratulations on your appointment to the Virginia Company Board of Governors"

A2: Open Attachment - Read "John Smith" letter

A3: Open Links in email

A4: Use Virtual Jamestown Database

Background Building

B1 Research colonial jobs at Colonial Williamsburg website

B2: View Williamsburg Trades Slide Shows

B2 Research patterns of settlement on Virtual Jamestown

B3: View Interactive History on PBS.org Colonial House website

B4: View An Apprentice Life on Colonial Williamsburg website

B5: Analyze problems presented in "John Smith Letter"

B6: Analyze clickable map of Jamestown colony


C1: Create Passenger list of indentured servants from database

C2: Create supply list

C3: Create list of problems and solutions facing new colonies

C4: Create decision tree graphic organizers using Kidspiration Software

C5: Organize decision trees into logical order

C6: Create website from decision trees


S1: Discuss meaning of "John Smith Letter"

S2: Discuss problems of the new Colony

S3: Present decision trees

S4: Publish website incorporating decision trees



Content -

(1) History. The student understands the causes and effects of European colonization in the United States.

     (A) explain when, where, and why groups of people colonized and settled in the United States;

(6) Geography. The student uses geographic tools to collect, analyze, and interpret data.

     (A) apply geographic tools, including grid systems, legends, symbols, scales, and compass roses, to construct and interpret maps; and

     (B) translate geographic data into a variety of formats such as raw data to graphs and maps.

(8) Geography. The student understands the location and patterns of settlement and the geographic factors that influence where people live.

     (A) identify and describe the types of settlement and patterns of land use in the United States

     (D) explain the geographic factors that influence patterns of settlement and the distribution of population in the United States, past and present.

(10) Economics. The student understands the basic economic patterns of early societies in the United States.

     (B) explain the economic patterns of early European colonists.

(11) Economics. The student understands the reasons for exploration and colonization.

     (B) identify major industries of colonial America.

(14) Economics. The student understands patterns of work and economic activities in the United States.

     (A) analyze how people in different parts of the United States earn a living, past and present;

     (B) identify and explain how geographic factors have influenced the location of economic activities in the United States;



This project should appeal to diverse student groups by focusing on the universal themes of survival and conflict resolution.

Students can relate to the needs of survival and begin to see how providing these essentials begins to build into a functioning economy.

The problems between the settlers themselves, the Native Americans, the sailors during transit, and newly arriving settlers all represent challenges for groups to resolve.

Working as team, students can share ideas and perspectives over possible solutions.

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