Captain Christopher Newport

Captain Christopher Newport

Grade Level: 3-5

Objective: Students will describe the exploration of the Americas by Christopher Newport.

Virginia Standards of Learning:

º3.3 Students will study the exploration of the Americas by Christopher Newport;
º3.3 Students will identify reasons for exploring, the information gained, and the results from the travels;
º3.5 Students will develop map skills by locating the regions in the Americas explored by Christopher Newport;
º3.6 Students will interpret geographic information from maps;

Materials Needed:

1. Articles about Christopher Newport/Jamestown :
*Zoom Explorers from Enchanted Learning
*Short Biography
- scroll down to 1607
*History of Jamestown
- - does not mention Newport but gives good information about Jamestown

2. World map, United States map, Virginia map, crayons or colored pencils

3. Reference Article and Images:
*Short Biography - Christopher Newport
*Exploration of James River Map
*Voyage to Jamestown Image
*Newport Portrait
*Statue of Captain Christopher Newport at Christopher Newport University
*Newport Maze

Directions for teachers:

1. Have students research materials about Christopher Newport and Jamestown. Share information from the short Newport biography in this lesson. Have students discuss what characteristics make up a good explorer. Do they think Newport had these characteristics? Why? Discuss that Spain and England were competing for more riches, power, and land. Christopher Newport had captured Spanish ships as a privateer before Jamestown, and had learned a lot about the West Indies and the Americas from his years at sea. The Virginia Company of London wanted to start a colony in North America, and they chose Christopher Newport to lead the expedition because of his experience sailing safely from England to North America via the Canary Islands and the West Indies.

2. Locate England, the Atlantic Ocean, Canary Islands, West Indies and Virginia on the world map and have the students color and label them on their own individual maps.

3. Locate in Virginia the Chesapeake Bay, the James River, and where Jamestown was founded in 1607. Have the students label these locations on their individual maps. [Included in this lesson is a map showing exploration of the James River by Newport and the settlers to find a place to establish their colony, which would be Jamestown].

4. Next have the students mark on their maps the route sailed by Newport from England to Jamestown using the "Voyage to Jamestown" image included with this lesson plan. Divide students into groups to discuss why they think Newport sailed to Jamestown along such a long route instead of sailing straight across the Atlantic Ocean. [Hint: Wind and currents in the Atlantic Ocean and islands where food and water could be gotten on the long voyage to Virginia].

5. You can create a map on a shower curtain or large piece of plastic, lay the map on the floor, and have students walk the route taken by Christopher Newport.

6. Have students write a journal from the viewpoint of Newport or a crew member about the trip to Virginia.

7. Show pictures of Christopher Newport and his statue at Christopher Newport University. Find Newport News, Virginia, on the state map. It is named after this explorer.

8. Finally, pass out the "Captain Christopher Newport" maze so students can help Newport reach Jamestown

*Activities (expect for maze) taken from the History and Social Science Standards of Learning Enhanced Scope and Sequence Guide, Grade 3, Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education, Richmond, Virginia, 2004

Last updated: April 29, 2015

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