When students visit Colonial Virginia, they will have the opportunity to engage with America's history in a tangible way. Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown offer hands-on learning experiences centered on history, science, engineering, and technology. Next time you're on the Historic East Coast, make a trip to Colonial Virginia to experience the cultural exchanges, strained relations, and significant battles that altered history.
If you don't have the chance to visit in person, your students can still immerse themselves in colonial history by using the free teacher resources on the History Is Fun website.
The Jamestown Settlement and the Museum of the American Revolution in Yorktown have teamed up to create free, teacher resources. Here are the top three resources you can use to engage your students.
Distance learning experts from Jamestown and Yorktown create and publish live, interactive webcasts for teachers and students. The webcast is streamed live from the historic sites, and uploaded to their website afterward. Each one is typically 30 minutes in length.
Topics include ordinary life in the 17th century, what it means to be a museum curator, and how colonial Americans stayed healthy. We loved their recent webcast, Life at Sea in the 17th Century (image is taken from this webcast).
These hands-on demonstrations offer tutorials, fun projects, and surprising historical facts that will keep your students interested. The videos are filmed by museum historical experts, and are rarely more than 5 minutes long.
Each video focuses on a 17th-century skill or game. For example, this image is taken from the 17th Century Musket Use in England and Virginia video. The demonstration explains how the matchlock musket was used differently in the New World versus England. Be sure to also see the 5-6 videos focused on different aspects of Powhatan life.
Both the Jamestown Settlement Museum and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown have mobile app tours. These apps allow students to explore the museum virtually by looking at artifacts, reading stories, and watching videos.
The Jamestown app (see image) allows users to select either an adult or youth tour of the indoor gallery, and offers a virtual tour of the outdoor living history museum. The Yorktown app offers users the option to select from four themed tours: patriot, loyalist, women, or a tour just for kids. Also listed is a Virginia History Trails app that will highlight historic trails in Virginia and offer mini-history lessons.
The History Is Fun website has tons of additional teacher resources, what are some of your favorites? If you're interested in traveling to Colonial Virginia, check out some of our sample itineraries and talk to a Student Travel Consultant.