Teaching History with Children’s Literature: The Colony of Virginia

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The Colony of Virginia written by Brooke Coleman & photos by CORBIS-Bettmann and The Bridgeman Art Library, introduces important events and people from the settlement of Virginia, and gives information on how it is still an important part of the government today.

The Colony of Virginia gives readers information about events starting with the colonists and why they came to America to Virginia uniting with the other colonies to become the United States. It talks about Jamestown and how the colonist built a fort out of logs, and “The walls surrounding the tiny settlement formed a triangle to protect the colonists from attacks by nearby Indians.” The Colony of Virginiaalso gives readers some insight on Captain John Smith and the hardships the settlers faced. “Despite John Smith’s efforts to build houses and trade with the Indians for food, times were difficult for the colonists.” It also talks about tobacco being an important crop for the settlers, when women and African Americans were brought over, and rebelling against the rulers of England in the Revolutionary War.   It ends with how “Virginia is still an important part of our nation’s government since it is so near the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C.”

Curriculum Connections

The Colony of Virginia  is a great resource when you are studying the history of Virginia. It incorporates why the settlers came to Virginia, why they chose Jamestown, the hardships they faced, key people, women and slaves, and why the colonies went to war.  It is connected to VA SOL Social Studies Virginia Studies VS 3, 4, &5.

Additional Resources

  • Discovering Jamestown has a great lesson plan where students role-play as a member of English society as  a reporter asks them questions.
  • The Jamestown Colony is a sheet that they can read about Jamestown and then it has a worksheet to go along with the questions.
  • National Geographic Kids has an interactive adventure on Jamestown that students are able to  learn about Jamestown and Captain John Smith and play mini games on their site.
  • If you are looking for a webquest try Colonization of Jamestown 1607.

General Information

Book: The Colony of Virginia
Author: Brooke Coleman
Illustrator: CORBIS-Bettmann & The Bridgeman Art Library
Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 24 pages
Grade Range: 3-5
ISBN: 9780823954841