Teaching History with Children’s Literature: The Story of Jamestown

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The Story of Jamestown is a great “comic book” style book on the settling of Jamestown. It is written by Eric Braun and illustrated by Steve Erwin, Keith Williams and Charles Barnett III. The illustrations are wonderful which rich colors and  full of action; sure to keep students’ attention!

It’s divided into four chapters; In Honor of Our King, John Smith and the Indians, A Struggle to Survive, and The End of Jamestown. Each scene has a caption explaining what is going on such as ”Smith found tribes along the James River willing to trade. He quickly learned some of their language.” Along with the description there are call-outs showing the characters speaking.

In the back of the book there is a glossary, index, and list of Internet sites and more books on Jamestown.

Curriculum Connections: This book could be used as a fun introduction to the unit on Jamestown. VS.3. Students would also like to read this on their own so it would be a good book for the class library. It talks about reasons for English colonization, describes hardships faced by settlers of Jamestown, and interactions between English settlers and the native peoples including the contributions of Powhatan to the survival of the settlers.

Additional Resources:

  • Virtual Jamestown has a bunch of lesson plans. It also has interactive maps!

  • This National Geographic website has a great video for kids. The video also displays what the narrator is saying so it is a good opportunity for help with fluency.

  • This website allows students to make decisions on colonizing America.

  • Here you can set up a possible field trip to Jamestown.

General Information
Book: The Story of Jamestown
Author: Eric Braun
Illustrators: Steven Erwin, Keith Williams and Charles Barnett III
Publisher: Capstone Press
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 32
Grade range: 3-5
ISBN: 9780736862103