This week Ani finished the first third of her first Alpha Omega Grade 5 History/Geography LifePac. My child who has been hating history now LOVES it. Awesome! Of course I’ve made it a lot more interesting for her than just reading the LifePacs and answering the questions. I made daily webpages for her to go to with assignments to complete. There are some videos to watch, a LapNotes binder to complete, and various other activities. You can see an example here.
I decided to give her a bigger activity to do at the end of each third of a LifePac. The assignment for the end of the first third was to write a 1 to 2 page typed double spaced paper on Roanoke Island. I told her it could be just about the settlement in general, could talk about theories of why they disappeared, or whatever else she could think of and it could be an expository paper or a persuasive paper. She chose to do a 5-paragraph expository paper on the theories of why the colonist disappeared.
All I can say about that (the text of her paper is below) is thank goodness for Shurley English! She’s been doing Shurley English 4 for about 4 months and her writing abilities has come so incredibly far. She never would have known what an expository paper was, let alone how to write or edit one, just a few months ago. She followed her checklists in her Shurley workbook and I think she did a pretty good job with her paper and got a gold star on it (which made her very happy).
In addition to her paper, she had to do an oral report. I had her take the paper she wrote and make notes for giving an oral presentation on the subject. I also told her to make at least one visual aid for it. She printed a map of Roanoke, a picture of a signet ring that has been found during excavations, and she drew a picture of an Indian chief (Powhatan) and a picture representing a drought.
Her oral presentation:
And her paper:
What Happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island?
May 6, 2010
The lost colony of Roanoke Island was the first English colony in the New World. It was established in 1585. John White left the colony to go back to England for more supplies. When he came back three years later, everyone was gone and all the houses were gone. The only things left were a few posts that were used to surround the town. He found on one of the posts the word Croatan carved into it. There are many theories of what happened to the people of the lost colony.
The first theory is that they died of disease and starvation. There was the worst drought in 800 years around the time they arrived, according to tree core sample testing. The drought would have weakened them by not giving them enough food or water. They would not be able to find food or plant and grow any. The drought would make them more likely to die of starvation.
Another theory was that Powhatan’s tribe had slaughtered them. We know this may have happened because Powhatan boasted that he had killed the colonists. It was common for indians to attack other people if the indians thought the others were a threat. Because of the drought the indians and the colonists would have been fighting over the same things (food and water).
The third theory is they went to Croatan Island, now Hatteras Island, and joined the Lumbee Indians. This could be true to because of the word on the post. Later settlers reported seeing Indians with blond hair and blue eyes. This was not common among most Indians but was among the colonists.
Powhatan, sickness, and joining the indians are all some of the best theories of how the lost colony of Roanoke disappeared. What happened to the colonists has baffled experts for years. We may never know what actually happened. All these theories could have some truth in them or they could be all wrong and we’ll never know at all. However, Josh Bernstein on Digging for the Truth, through DNA testing, found out that Henry Payne, who was one of the colonists at Roanoke, likely has descendents living today. That means that not all the colonist died before White returned.