National Park Service Press Release

Teaching with Historic Places Lesson about Charlesfort-Santa Elena National Historic Landmark Available From the National Park Service
For Immediate Release:
August 12, 2014
Contact(s):   Kathy Kupper, 202-208-6843

Carol Shull, 202-354-2234


Teaching with Historic Places Lesson about Charlesfort-Santa Elena National Historic Landmark Available From the National Park Service

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service and the Santa Elena Foundation invite teachers to use their new online lesson plan, Digging into the Colonial Past: Archeology and the 16th - Century Spanish Settlements at Charlesfort-Santa Elena, the latest publication in the National Park Service’s Teaching with Historic Places series.  The lesson plan helps students to learn about the discovery of 16th century Spanish colonial settlements on South Carolina’s Parris Island and how that changed our understanding of the story of Europeans in North America.  The settlements on the island predate Roanoke Island, Jamestown and Plymouth.

"For more than 20 years, the Teaching with Historic Places program has helped bring a wide variety of classroom subjects to life, capitalizing on the diverse properties on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “This lesson plan engages students in the diverse stories of our nation’s history, the conflicts that arose as European nations sought to settle the New World, and their interactions with the native people.”

In the lesson, students examine how archeologists use both archeological evidence and written records to uncover the past.  For more than a century, historians and archeologists have worked to piece together the story of Santa Elena. Using archeological data, as well as modern and contemporary maps, images and written accounts of the settlement, students will learn about the thoughts and motivations of Spanish colonists, gain insight into the lives of the Spanish colonists, and understand Spain's ambitions for North America in the 16th century.

The Charlesfort-Santa Elena lesson plan was created cooperatively by the National Park Service, the Santa Elena Project Foundation, and the Kingdom of Spain.  It was written by historian and education specialist Jaclyn Jecha for the Santa Elena Project Foundation, with assistance from Dr. Paul E. Hoffman of Louisiana State University. The project was initiated by the National Park Service Archeology Program through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kingdom of Spain and supported by the Spanish Embassy.

This is the 155th lesson in the Teaching with Historic Places series that brings the important stories of historic sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places into classrooms across the country.

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