This primary source activity is a great introductory lesson on Captain John Smith and his contributions. Students will analyze and discuss the famous 1616 portrait of Captain John Smith (as well as the map in which it originally appeared) in small groups or in a whole-class discussion. This activity is a great way not only to incorporate primary sources into your teaching, but also to promote critical thinking, collaboration, and communication in your classroom.
Students will use 12 open-ended question cards to guide their conversations. If you like, students can record their thinking on a two-page worksheet as they work (included). After analyzing and discussing the primary sources, students will use a blank template to create their own self-portraits in the style of the John Smith illustration.
The questions are subjective; so as long as students can justify their thinking, there may be more than one correct answer. To that end, an answer key is not included, but I did include some teacher notes that you might find useful.
Included are the following materials:
- teacher notes and suggestions for how to use this resource
- John Smith portrait (1616)
- John Smith’s New England Map (1616)
- 12 cards with discussion prompts
- 2 page question worksheet
- blank portrait template
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