Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

First Grade - American Civilization/Geography - November Overview

The November history and geography lessons are integrated this month and need to be taught simultaneously as written. The lessons require a lot of listening on the part of the students. It is suggested that children be called to a place on the floor where they can easily see the map and where they are not as likely to be distracted by items in their desks or things happening out the windows and doors. Teach children how to be good listeners by reviewing listening skills such as: good listeners keep their eyes on the person speaking; good listeners sit in a quiet, still manner; good listeners focus on what the speaker is saying and concentrate to hear the words being spoken.

The following books are useful as follow-up stories to gain more information about the topics covered this month. They may be read following the entire unit, or at the conclusion of individual lessons.

Campbell, Elizabeth. Jamestown: The Beginning. Boston: Little Brown, 1974.

Dalgliesh, Alice. The Thanksgiving Story. New York: Scribner, 1954.

George, Jean Craighead. The First Thanksgiving. New York: Philomel Books, 1993.

Gleiter, Jan and Thompson, Kathleen. Pocahontas. Milwaukee: Raintree Childrens Books, 1985.

Jassem, Kate. Pocahontas Girl of Jamestown. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1979.

McGovern, Ann. If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. New York: Scholastic, 1991.

Ross, Katharine. The Story of the Pilgrims. New York: Random House, 1995.

Sewall, Marcia. The Pilgrims of Plimouth. New York: Antheneum, 1986.


First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 10


Listen to comprehend and to obtain new information regarding Virginia Dare, Sir Walter Raleigh and the Lost Colony.

Construct a booklet of facts to recall the lesson.

Identify the geographical feature island as a body of land surrounded by water on all sides.


Classroom size map of the world

Handwriting paper (3 sheets for each student)

Copy of following pages made into transparency or printed on chalk board


Tell children you are going to tell them a true story from American history. Review with the children history lessons covered to this point. Establish that many years have passed since Columbus sailed to the New World. Refer to the U.S. map during the telling of the story, frequently point to the area on the map as you give the information. Prompt children to be good listeners during the story because they are going to make fact booklets when the story is over.

Say: More than one hundred years after Columbus, the Europeans who first settled our country came from England. (Point to England on the map, review that it is a country in Europe.)

For a long time, England had been fighting against Spain. (Locate Spain on the map, review that it is a country in Europe.)

Remember how the Spanish came to America in search of silver and gold?

Remember how the Spanish took the gold and silver away from the Aztecs and Incas? (Review if needed.)

English ships would try to capture Spanish ships as they came back from America full of the gold and silver. England saw that Spain was going to own a big part of the New World and have all the gold and silver for themselves. The men who worked for the Queen of England wanted some of the treasures of America for themselves. A man named Sir Walter Raleigh set out to start a new colony in North America. They crossed the Atlantic Ocean (point to on map) and landed on an island off of present-day North Carolina (locate Roanoke on the map).

An island is a body of land that has water on all sides of it. The English people that Sir Walter Raleigh sent over did not plant corn. Instead they immediately began searching and digging for gold. They didn't find any. Since they did not plant any food, they had to trade something to the Indians to get it. (Discuss the concept of trading and how one good must be of equal value to exchange it for the other good.)

Since the English did not have anything to trade, the Indians refused to give them any food. The English had to go home. Sir Walter Raleigh sailed back to England and gathered more people to come to America. This time the people stayed in his new colony in America. The first baby of English parents in the New World was born in this new colony. She was named Virginia Dare. No one knows what happened BCP DRAFT HIST 21

First Grade - American Civilizaton - Lesson 10

to the little girl, though. When a ship came back from England four years after she had been born, no one was left in the village. There was no sign of what happened to Virginia Dare except an Indian word carved on a doorpost. Since everybody in the colony had disappeared, it was called "the lost colony."

The story of the lost colony will prompt the children to speculate on what happened to the people who lived there. Allow time for such speculation, but stress to the children that any conclusions they might draw have not been proven. What happened to the people of the colony still remains a mystery.

Call on children to recall the story and retell it in their own words. Tell children they will be making a fact booklet so they will be able to remember the story. Make transparencies of the

following pages for the children to copy on their own handwriting paper. Allow time for children to draw and color a picture to accompany each page. If an overhead is not available, print the sentences on the board for the children to copy from. This is a good opportunity to reinforce that a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period. Assist children in correct letter formation as they copy the sentences, be sure children use upper and lowercase letters appropriately. The completed pages may be stapled together and a cover of construction paper may be added if you so desire.


First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 11


Listen to comprehend and to obtain new information regarding the settlement of Jamestown.

Identify the geographical feature bay as a part of the ocean that cuts deep into the land.

Identify the geographical feature peninsula as a long section of land that extends into the water.

Color a picture of Pocahontas as she looked while living in England.

Create a flip book listing facts about John Smith, Pocahontas, and Powhatan.


Two pieces of white or colored ditto paper for each student

Glue, crayons

Coloring page of Pocahontas

Classroom size U.S. map


Review the story of the Lost Colony with the children. Prompt with questions that will recall facts learned during the previous lesson.

Say: The English did not give up their plan to start a colony in America. In 1607 at Jamestown, in what is now Virginia, the English tired to settle again (point to Jamestown on the map).

Three ships reached the Virginia coast and sailed into Chesapeake Bay (locate on the map)

A bay is a part of the ocean that cuts deep into the land.

The settlers chose a place on the bank of a river because they thought it would be easy to protect it. They named the settlement Jamestown and the river the James River, in honor of their king. Jamestown was built on a peninsula that jutted out into the river.

A peninsula is a long section of land that extends out into the water.

As it turned out this was not a good place to live because the land was swampy and full of mosquitoes. Many of the settlers died of a disease the mosquitoes gave them. Also, the settlers did not work hard enough to take care of themselves. Instead of trying to get along with the Indians, the settlers stole their corn and fought with them. By winter the food they brought with them from England was almost gone. Only thirty-two colonists were still alive by Christmas of their first year. More than seventy people had died.

The colony almost did not make it expect that two things happened.

First, a ship carrying fresh supplies and more setters arrived and a man named John Smith became the new leader of the colony. Once John Smith was the leader of Jamestown, he quickly took charge of the colony. He put an end to the settlers' laziness by saying, "He that will not work, shall not eat."

The settlers got busy repairing houses, clearing the land and planting crops. They hunted for food and learned to get along better with the Indians, even trading with them. One time, John Smith was captured by the Indians. Powhatan, the most powerful Indian chief in the area, was probably going to free him, but later a legend grew BCP DRAFT HIST 23

First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 11

that the Indian princess Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, had fallen in love with John Smith and saved him.

Things began to get better for the settlers and by early 1609, two years after they first arrived, the colony had five hundred people living there. However, early that year, John Smith was hurt when his gunpowder accidentally blew up. He had to go back to England for medical help. The settlers had not received enough supplies from the last ship that arrived from England and as a result the winter of that year became known as the "starving time."

The Indians tried to help the colonists live through that period. Powhatan gave them food. In return, he wanted their help against his own Indian enemies. Powhatan traded food for some of the English guns. Of the five hundred who started out that winter only sixty were still alive the next spring.

By summer, the few survivors who were left decided to return to England. They sailed down the James River toward the Atlantic Ocean. Imagine their surprise when they met ships with food, supplies, and three hundred colonists coming toward them!

The settlers returned to Jamestown to try again. If the ship had arrived only a few hours later, Jamestown would have been just another English colony that failed. Instead, it became the first colony in America to succeed.

Tell the children they are going to make a flip book about the important people they have just heard about in Jamestown. The book is created as follows:

1. Stack two sheets of paper (8 x 11), and place the back sheet one inch higher than the front sheet.

2. Bring the bottom of both sheets upward and align the edges so that all of the layers or tabs are the same distance apart.

3. When all tabs are an equal distance apart, fold the papers and crease well.

4. Open the papers and glue them together along the center fold.


First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 11

5. On the front page have the children write Jamestown.

6. On the tab of the next sheet print John Smith. Flip the top page up and the children will have room to write information regarding Smith in this area. You may wish to have them print the following sentence, or one or two facts of your own choosing. "John Smith was the leader of Jamestown. He was very brave and very smart."

7. On the next tab print Powhatan. Flip the top two pages up for the space to write the following sentence. "Powhatan was a powerful Indian chief. He traded the settlers food during the starving times."

8. On the last tab print Pocahontas. Flip the three top pages up to write the following information. "Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan. A story says she saved John Smith from being killed by the Indians."

You may wish to share with the students what happened to Pocahontas. She helped maintain peaceful relations between the colonists and the Indians. In 1614, she married John Rolfe. She was converted to Christianity and baptized "Rebecca." In 1616, she went to England with Rolfe and their son Thomas. She was treated like a princess in England. Just before she was to return to America, Pocahontas died of smallpox. Her son returned to Jamestown after being educated in England. He became an important member of the Jamestown colony.

Suggested follow up activity

Allow children time to color the paper of Pocahontas as she looked in 1616 while living in England. You may wish to discuss how she changed the way she dressed when she was in England.


First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 12


Review the Jamestown settlement.

Recall that the Pilgrims were one of the first groups of Europeans who came to America.

Understand the purpose of the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving celebration.

Review the geographical term bay.

Locate Plymouth Bay on the U.S. map.

Complete an activity sheet about the Pilgrims.


Classroom size U.S. map

Copy of activity sheets for each student


Review the information covered in the previous lesson regarding the founding of Jamestown. Clarify and firm up the roles of John Smith, Powhatan, and Pocahontas. Conclude the review by telling children that the Jamestown colony struggled for several more years until one of the colonists tried planting tobacco. The colonist was named John Rolfe. (John Rolfe later married Pocahontas.) He was able to grow a kind of tobacco that the people in England wanted. Soon, the settlers of Jamestown were growing and shipping tobacco to England and getting lots of money for their work. This caused the colony to continue to grow. An important event in the growth of Jamestown was the arrival of a ship with twenty Africans on board. (Locate Africa on the map.)

The ship was headed for the West Indies, where the Africans would be sold as slaves, but high winds blew it off course. Jamestown colonists bought these Africans from the boat owner to work as servants in the tobacco fields. These people were to work for several years and then be set free. In later years, more Africans were brought to Virginia. We will learn that those Africans were forced to become slaves in a future lesson.

Say: Today we are going to talk about another settlement in America not too far from Jamestown. We are going to talk about a group of people called the Pilgrims. Who can tell something they may already know about the Pilgrims? (Allow time for children to share any information they already know.)

Firm up and clarify that the Pilgrims were colonists from England that sailed on a ship called the Mayflower. Check that the children understand the Pilgrims came to America after Jamestown was already established and growing tobacco. (The Pilgrims arrived in 1620, Jamestown was planting tobacco in 1613 and using indentured servants in 1619.)

Call the children's attention to the U.S. map and the state of Massachusetts. Point to Plymouth, drawing attention to the shape of the land near Plymouth. Say: Do you see how the land surrounds the water on three sides? Remember that a bay is a small body of water partly surrounded by land.

The Pilgrims brought the Mayflower into Plymouth Bay and anchored it near a boulder which has ever since been known as Plymouth Rock. The Pilgrim leaders sent several men to search for a place for their new home. The men found a flat area that had streams of fresh water and was surrounded by forests.


First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 12

Ask: Why would this make a good place to live? (The water could be used for cooking and drinking. The trees would be useful for building and to make fires for cooking and heating.) Recall with the children that the Pilgrims were very religious people and, because they wanted to pray and live in the way they believed was right, they were willing to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to America. Tell the children that even though the Pilgrims shared food and worked hard, the first winter was very difficult for them and many of them died. But once spring came, the Pilgrims were able to make better homes. One day in early spring an Indian came to welcome the Pilgrims. He was from a tribe called the Wampanoag (WAHM-puh-nog). The Pilgrims gave him food to eat and a place to sleep for the night. The next morning they gave him gifts. This Indian returned to Plymouth with other members of the Wampanoag tribe. One of these men was named Squanto. Squanto decided to stay with the Pilgrims. He showed them how to plant corn and where to hunt and fish.

By the fall, the Pilgrims' hard work made a difference. They had plenty of food from the crops they had grown. They knew they would have enough food to eat during the winter. The leaders of the Colony decided that the community should celebrate its first harvest with a feast. The Wampanoag had celebrated the harvest time for many years. The Pilgrims planned a feast and invited the Wampanoag. The feast lasted for three days. At the feast the Pilgrims gave thanks to God. They also thanked the Wampanoag. When you celebrate Thanksgiving today, you are sharing a custom shared by the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims.


Suggested Follow Up Activity

Allow time for the children to complete the activity sheets that follow.


First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 13


Listen to comprehend and to obtain new information regarding the settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Identify the Puritans as the colonists from Europe who settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Identify the geographical feature harbor as a protected place where ships are safe from the ocean's waves.

Locate Boston Harbor on a US map.

Discuss what school was like for children living in the early colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Make a hornbook.


Classroom size U.S. map

A hornbook pattern


Waxed paper

Crayons, scissors, glue


Review the information covered in the previous lessons regarding the founding of Jamestown and the Pilgrims settling at Plymouth. Recall with the children how Jamestown was originally established with the hopes of finding gold and later became a stable colony because of the planting of tobacco. Recall how the Pilgrims established Plymouth for religious freedom. Review that both colonies had great struggles in the beginning of their establishment, and both required assistance from Indians in order to survive.

Say: Today we are going to learn about yet another group of colonists who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to make a new home in America. This group of about a thousand men and women left England for America about ten years after the Pilgrims had settled in Plymouth. (Point to the map showing Atlantic Ocean and England as you tell the story.)

The leaders of this group told them it would take time to plant fields and gather food in their new home, so they should take along enough food to last them for more than one whole year. Also, they should take leather, nails, guns, glass, farming tools, and farm animals to their new settlement. The leaders knew it would be important to take all these things because the settlers would not be able to buy these things in their new homes. The leaders also warned the settlers that if they were planning on coming to America to get rich, they should just stay home in England. This group was going to America for a different reason. They were going to build a community based on the Bible, and to show the world how people could live according to the word of God. These people were called Puritans.

Like the Pilgrims, Puritans were unhappy with the Church of England. The English king treated the Puritans badly, so a group of them decided to go to America. These settlers were very religious, but they didn't agree with the religion of the Pilgrims, so they would not sail to Plymouth to join the Pilgrims. They sailed to a new place not far from Plymouth. They landed in BCP DRAFT HIST 28

First Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 13

what today is the city of Boston. They brought their boat into the Boston Harbor (locate on the map). A harbor is a protected place where ships are safe from the ocean's waves.

The Puritans called their new settlement the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Unlike the settlements of Jamestown and Plymouth, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was successful from the start. The settlers arrived early enough in the spring to plant crops and build homes before the cold winter weather came. They fished the waters of the harbor and worked hard to prepare themselves for plenty of food during the winter. As a result, the Puritans were far better prepared for their first winter than the Pilgrims had been. Very few of them died.

Due to the success of this first group of settlers, many other people left England because of hard times and settled in the Massachusetts area. Thousands of people came to live in Massachusetts Bay. These settlers farmed, fished, cut lumber, built ships, and traded for beaver and other animal furs with the Indians.

Share with the children the following information regarding schooling in the early colonies. Children of wealthy colonists had tutors, but most children were taught by their parents at home. Because some parents could not read or write, they primarily taught their children obedience, religious teachings, and skills they needed in daily life. The colonists, however, firmly believed that education was the way to rise in the world. So by 1647 laws were passed to provide schools for children in towns of fifty families or more.

The first school that boys and girls went to was called a Dame School. The teacher was a woman, and most often the children came to her home to learn to read and write. Instead of schoolbooks the students used hornbooks. Each hornbook was a thin piece of board with a handle. A printed page (which usually included letters of the alphabet, numerals, and a prayer or verse from the Bible) was mounted on one side of the board. This page was covered with a clear piece of horn to protect the printed letters and numbers. The handle of many hornbooks had a hole so that the hornbook could be worn around a child's neck or fastened to his or her belt with a length of twine. Children left Dame School once they could read and write everything on the hornbook.

Suggested Follow up Activity

Assist the children in making their own hornbook. Distribute to each one a piece of tagboard and the duplicated paper hornbook pattern. Tell the children to cut out the paper copy of the hornbook carefully on the dark lines. Then trace the paper pattern onto the tagboard. Carefully cut the tagboard pattern out. Direct children to write on the paper the letters of the alphabet, or important words you may currently be studying, or math problems. They may wish to add color to the edges of the paper to resemble wood. When their writing is complete, glue the paper hornbook onto the tagboard pattern for durability. Tape a piece of waxed paper over the writing (as a substitute for horn). Encourage children to take their hornbooks home and explain to their families how the children of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colony used these books.


First Grade - American Civilization/Geography - Lesson 14


Review the Jamestown colony and the use of African Americans as servants.

Listen to comprehend and to obtain new information regarding the growth of the Thirteen Colonies.

Listen to comprehend and to obtain new information regarding slavery and "The Middle Passage" as plantations in Southern colonies grew.

Review the geographical terms bay, island, harbor, peninsula.

Make a geography dictionary.


Classroom size U.S. map

Copies of the following dictionary pages


Recall with the children the settling of Jamestown and the planting of tobacco. Recall with the children that in a previous lesson (Lesson 12) we discussed how a ship with twenty Africans on board was blown off its course to the West Indies, and the people on the ship ended up being sold to the colonists in Jamestown as servants to work in the tobacco field. These Africans were to work for several years and then they would be set free. In today's lesson we will see how more Africans were brought to America and were not allowed to become free.

Say: Over the next one hundred years, more and more people moved to America from Europe. New colonies were begun by different religious groups, by friends of the English king, or by business companies. After a time there were thirteen colonies in the eastern part of the country near the Atlantic Ocean (Show this area on the map, from Georgia north to New Hampshire.) Later they would become the first states of the United States.

But one large group of people who came to America didn't want to come. They liked their lives in Africa, where they owned their own fields and animals, had their own governments and religion, and beautiful cities. (Locate Africa on the map.)

They were forced to come to America and were made slaves, people without rights. Crop failures and wars in Africa drove some people from their homes. Some of these people were captured and sold, mainly to English or New England ship captains. Many died on the terrible voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. This voyage was called "the middle passage." (On the map locate the western coast of Africa near the Gulf of Guinea and drag your finger over the Atlantic Ocean to the West Indies.)

African slaves were brought to many parts of America. They were forced to forget their country, and the life they had known there. Most African slaves in our country were sold to owners of large tobacco, rice, or cotton farms in the South, called plantations. This kind of farm needed large numbers of workers. Some of the black people had been farmers in their own country, but many had worked as miners, or potters, or healers, or teachers. As slaves, most of them were made to work in the fields, at least at first, and the work was very hard. Some of them tried to rebel. They didn't know when they could be free but they tried to keep their hopes alive. Allow time for discussion.

Review with the children the geographical features that have been introduced throughout BCP DRAFT HIST 30

First Grade - American Civilization/Geography - Lesson 14

the last several lessons. Recall the definitions that follow and locate examples of the features on the map.

Assist the children in making a geography dictionary with these terms. Provide each student with copies of the following pages. Have the children write the term on the line provided and draw a picture of the feature. Read aloud the definition printed at the bottom of the page. Cut the pages apart on the dotted lines; a cover of construction paper may be added if so desired. Staple the booklet together when it is completed.