Jamestown's Economy

K-12 Objectives | Materials Needed | Procedures | Assessment | Standards

Discipline: U.S. History

Specific Lesson Topic: Daily life and events in the Jamestown colony

Methodology: Primary Sources


1. Students should be able to analyze the economic needs of the Native Americans and colonists by identifying goods made and sold by and between them.

2. Students should be able to identify strengths and needs of the early colonists and evaluate the steps they took to meet those needs.

3. Students should be able to synthesize the information related to the goods produced and needed by the early colonists and Native Americans and make predictions as to what goods and services are essential for any civilization.

Materials Needed:


Students can refer to the student worksheet

1. Students will be examining various photographs of goods made and used by native Americans and colonists living in and around Jamestown. All of the images are available by accessing the student worksheet; students may work on-line, or the teacher may print and photocopy the pictures.

2.Students should use the worksheet to note characteristics of these objects- what they're made of, what they could be used for, what skills would be required in making them, how valuable would they be, how difficult to make, how we know their age and authenticity.

3. Students should view and respond to questions regarding the foods and other raw materials used by the colonists and native Americans.

4. After viewing the pictures and answering the questions with the pictures, students should be able to answer the "Drawing Conclusions" questions on the student worksheet. These questions attempt to make generalizations about scarcity and trade.

5. Students should discuss their answers with the class.

Assessment for K-12:

1. By considering the resources native to their own area (teacher may want to help with this), students should be able to list and describe products from here and now that could be made locally, and list/describe products that would be needed and therefore must be traded for.

2. Students could make an advertisement, describing goods made, and looking for things that can't be made, that are desired in exchange for the goods for sale.


National History Standards: Standards in Historical Thinking

Virginia Standards of Learning

This module created by Anthony P. Dralle of the University of Virginia.

Cheryl L. Mason and William G. Thomas

All Rights Reserved, 1999