Lesson Plan

Writing Home

Signature of Rene de Laudonniere
The signature of Rene de Laudonniere, leader of the Fort Caroline settlement.
NPS Photo

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
Subject:
Colonial History, History, Language Arts, Writing
Duration:
20 Minutes
Group Size:
Up to 36
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
SS.A.6.2.4, SS.A.6.2.5, SS.B.2.2.2, SS.D.1.2.2, LA.B.1.2.1, LA.B.2.2.1, LA.B.2.2.3
Keywords:
French colonist, Fort Caroline, Persuasive Letter

Overview

Students will write a letter from the perspective of a 16th century settler.

Objective(s)

Students will be able to write from the perspective of a 16th century settler: a narrative of their experiences in northeast Florida OR an expository letter that explains the processes of daily life OR a persuasive letter about the need for supplies in the new world.

Background

 This is designed as a post-visit activity for background information please schedule at field trip at Fort Caroline national Memorial by calling 904.641.7155.



Procedure

Ask the students if they have ever taken a trip and written a letter or postcard to a family member about the things they saw. Ask them to use their imagination as well as what they learned on their visit to Fort Caroline to write a letter home to France
They must write from the perspective of a colonist and choose their role in that society. Some choices might be a sailor, soldier, cook, or a member of a family. Make sure that their letter identifies key landmarks such as the St. Johns River, St. Johns Bluff, the fort, and specific people, such as Ribault, Laudonnière, or Le Moyne. This letter would be dated before the Spanish attack of September 1565. 



Extensions

ELEMENTARY STUDENTS COULD... -- Write a narrative of their experiences in northeast Florida. -- Write an expository letter that explains the processes of daily life or why, despite the hardships they are encountering, it was worth coming to Florida to settle.
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS COULD... -- Focus on their persuasive writing by explaining why the colony needs immediate support in the form of supplies and people, urging the recipient to do what he or she can to aid the settlers.  


Vocabulary

perspective, first person, narrative