This past week we completed our studies and activities on Pocahontas and Jamestown. The Beautiful Feet Books (BFB) guide had us read Pocahontas by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire and Jamestown by James E. Knight. We enjoyed both books very much. We also watched Nightmare in Jamestown by National Geographic on Netflix and the Jamestown episode from Drive Thru History. We also played this fun game at History Globe. The game allows you to make decisions about the settlement and then the simulation lets you know the results of your decisions. The kids enjoyed the game…especially learning which decisions would cause the colony to fail.
Sparkles loved the Pocahontas book and the boys enjoyed learning all about Captain John Smith. They were all very sad to learn that Pocahontas died while her little boy was so young. They also had a hard time understanding the differences between commoners and gentlemen and just couldn’t get over the gentlemen’s unwillingness to work. The boys ended up building Jamestown with their Legos after watching the documentary. They even added the burial site of Bartholomew Gosnold outside the Fort.
The kids also found it interesting that the Indians would trade food and other goods for beads. We found some Italian lampwork glass beads like the ones the settlers traded with the Indians. Sparkles made herself a necklace and the boys ended up making me some bracelets. I had a math activity to do with the beads but the kids started trading them with each other on their own and came up with their own values for the beads depending on size and color. I sat my planned activity aside and just watched. They placed the highest value on the large red beads and were surprised to learn the Indians (Eastern US) prized the cobalt beads. We ended the lesson by looking at beautiful Native American bead work in books and on the internet.
The BFB guide had several coloring and copywork pages for the Pocahontas book and mostly discussion for the Jamestown book. The guide suggested they write up a paper on the importance of Jamestown. Oldest wrote up his report on the computer. I thought it might be too difficult a topic for the younger two so they dictated a narration on their favorite person. Sparkles chose Pocahontas and Middle Boy chose Captain John Smith. We’ve worked hard on narrations for the past year and I was so happy to the younger two complete their write-ups quickly. Oldest struggled a bit understanding the moral of Jamestown but eventually understood.