Native Americans and Early Colonial Settlement

The following curriculum aids were submitted by Roots of a Nation’s participating teachers and TAH program leaders to provide classroom educators with additional resources to make this subject matter come to life for their students.

Lesson Plans

Primary Documents and Images

Resources for Teachers

Native Americans and early colonial settlement in the Chesapeake region were two of the topics covered in the Roots of a Nation Teaching American History program. Courses emphasizing these curriculum areas included:

  • So Easy a Caveman Can Do It – Center for the Environment and Society at Washington College (CES) – In this hands-on, single day workshop, teachers work with Dr. Bill Schindler to learn about the various technologies used by prehistoric man to procure fire, food, clothing, and the necessities needed for survival in a hostile land.
  • Through the Eyes of Captain John Smith – CES – This one-day program brings teachers out on the research vessel Callinectes to view the Chester River through the eyes of one of Jamestown’s most famous colonists, Captain John Smith. Participants use maps and journal accounts by Smith to understand Native American settlement patterns and learn about the ecosystem of the river in the 17th century.
  • Mapping the Course of a New Nation: the 1608 Voyages of Captain John Smith – Sultana Education Foundation) – This two-day program focuses on the 1608 voyages of exploration led by Captain John Smith on the Chesapeake Bay. Using a variety of primary sources and accounts from early explorers, teachers learn about the flora, fauna, and Native American cultures encountered by Smith and his men on the 17th century Chesapeake.
  • Life and Society in the Colonial Tidewater: An Historical and Archaeological Journey – CES- This five-day seminar features an in-depth field study of the earliest European settlements in the Chesapeake region. Teachers visit numerous historic landmarks including the Jamestown settlement and Williamsburg, Virginia while working with historians, archaeologists, and college professors to learn about this fascinating period in American history.
  • Artifacts Speak Louder Than Words – CES – This two-day workshop brings teachers out in the field to participate in an archaeological dig at an early colonial site. Participants learn about different techniques for conducting digs, preserving the resulting artifacts, and putting those artifacts in historical context.