American History Lesson 1 Highlights:
We reviewed the colonial beginnings of our country. We discussed that the settlements in Acadia (Eastern Canada/present day Maine), were actually the first permanent European settlements in North America. We discussed the founding of Jamestown and the first successful crop: Tobacco. Thanks to John Rolf, most of England was puffing or chewing the new, mild-flavored tobacco. However, as I explained, the crop made the colony successful and no one at that time, knewhow dangerous to a person's health it is.
We also discussed that the first negroes/blacks in this country were NOT slaves, but indentured servants. We discussed that while a person could indenture themselves of their own free will (vs slavery, which was not a choice), contrary to popular belief, indentured servants were often not allowed to purchase their freedom. On paper, indentured service had a term limit clearly defined. However, this often did not work out in practical application. We roll-played the basics of indentured servitude, including that any children born to the indentured servant automatically became permanent "property" of the master.
We discussed the mysterious disappearing colony on Roanoke Island (1587). Several students were so fascinated by this topic, I gave them the task to research Roanoke and report their findings to the class. Keep in mind, to pass the "truth test," information should not come from Wikipedia; information should be corroborated on at least 3 websites/books; always, always, try to include original source materials.
For those students who are interested, these sites might be of interest: (REMEMBER: only use the internet with your parents permission)
Then, of course, we discussed the Pilgrims, the horrid ride on the Mayflower (including a reenactment under the tables), and the first Thanksgiving.
See you Friday when we'll be discussing the French and Indian War and how the British crown decided to pay for it!