Lesson 4: The Year of Many Changes

Time Estimated: 2 days



Students will:

  1. Understand that 1619 was an important year in Virginia because:
    • The House of Burgesses met for the first time
    • The first Africans arrived in Virginia, and
    • The Bride Ship set out from England.
  2. Students will understand the importance of these events.







  1. Hook: Have students read an example of a runaway slave or indentured servant ad. How are they different? How are they the same? Create a Venn diagram to illustrate the differences. (Indentured servants were not considered property, usually from same country as master)
  2. Introduce 1619 as an important year. Three things happened of major significance to the colony: the arrival of the first African Americans in Virginia, the General Assembly met for the first time, and women left England on the Bride Ship (they arrived in 1620). Present the information on the significance of these three events.
  3. Students will write one article about each of these events. The article should include information about what the event is and why it is important. It should be written from the perspective of the colonial period.
  4. Students use their articles to create a colonial newspaper. They will do this in Publisher.
  5. Closing: Students will choose one article to read to the class.
  6. Assessment:
    1. Students are assessed on the historical accuracy of their articles. Does the student include information on why this is important? Did he/she include details about the event? (10 points)
    2. Students are assessed on the additional piece that they have written. The purpose of the article should be clear (to provide information, to express an opinion or an emotion, to persuade the reader to do something). The additional article should be based on an issue that the colonists at this time were facing, and should be historically relevant. (10 points)




Each student should write AT LEAST one additional article to add to their paper. This article should be on one of the other topics of Jamestown. It can be an advertisement, an opinion piece, a people's interest column, an obituary (Pocahontas or John Smith) or an advice column. These can be on such issues as tobacco use, the rights of British citizenry, moving west, interactions with the Natives, or any other topic that would be appropriate.