Lesson Plan

Writing Home

The signature of Rene de Laudonniere, leader of the Fort Caroline settlement.
Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
30 Minutes
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

Essential Question

What would you write home about as a 16th century settler?


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.


Please review vocabulary terms. Hold a class discussion post-field trip, to capture big takeaways and place context to the Writing Home assignment.


Step 1: 

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

Step 2: 

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. 



perspective, first person, narrative

Additional Resources

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.  

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Last updated: March 7, 2019