Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Lost Colony

When I searched for information about The Lost Colony to share in my 4th grade Social Studies class, I remember struggling to find good information online that was useful for 4th grade. I have been looking at the NC History Digital Textbook on LearnNC, and I think I have found a solution to my problem. Information about The Lost Colony is located in the Pre-Colonial (to 1600) section. Although this digital textbook is geared more form secondary students, portions of the information can be used with elementary students.
I think that good background knowledge can be presented using information from The Lost Colony: A silent "cittie" (this section is towards the bottom of the page). Since the reading level is higher than elementary, this would not be a good section to assign for student independent reading. I see lots of places to stop and ask questions to check for understanding and to provide clues on strategies to use to read nonfiction and informational text. The words that are linked to definitions could also provide good practice for students in using context clues to determine unknown words.
Located near the top of that webpage in is an illustration which could be used at the beginning of the class or lesson to possibly get students predicting what the lesson could be about. Another idea is to use it more towards the end of the lesson for students to use the information learned to create a conversation the two figures could be having.
The next part of the story, The Search for the Lost Colony is one that students particularly enjoy since it is a mystery. The first paragraph on this page provides a great introduction to learning about the various theories about what happened to these colonists. After reading that paragraph to students, I can see having a good discussion about the information we get from different sources. The three ideas presented here (The Lumbee, A Yound Mayde in the Chesapeake, and Two Factions) could be good for a class discussion or project.
The information and links in the Learn More section in the sidebar could be used as things for groups of students to look at and report back to the class. Those areas could also be used for differentiation or for "early finishers" to look at. The related topics that are also listed in the sidebar could be good research or project topics for this lesson. This lesson could be connected with writing by encouraging the students to write about what they think happened to the lost colonists, or another LearnNC idea could be used to encourage the writing of a mystery.

NC SCOS Objectives that could be covered with this lesson:
Social Studies 3.03
Language Arts 2.01, 2.03. 20.5. 2.06


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