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I am a part of this really amazing homeschool co-op. Once a month we have these activities we call Epic activities. This year we are focusing on American History. So all of the activities are based on events throughout American history. I was in charge of the last activity focused on Jamestown and we did a Jamestown Simulation. It turned out so great, that I really wanted to share it with you guys. I think it is something that the kids are going to remember for such a long time!
I was in charge of it with one other mom. We had a lot of fun putting it all together. We have a local park that is a nature park without any playgrounds, but full of wild edibles and fruit trees. There is also a stream running through it. It was the perfect place to have this event!
We all wore pilgrim clothing. When everyone arrived at the activity, we gave them al little overview of what was going on during this time period. We also shared with them the laws that were in place the Jamestown colony. We planned a list of tasks that the kids had to accomplish during the activity. We had them divide into 2 groups and each group chose a settlement name and built a shelter. Then within their group they worked through their list of tasks.
They had to collect food, find edible herbs, fight savage natives, make tea, cook gruel and tea over a fire (we helped with that one), and other tasks related to building a new colony. Every so often, we would ring a bell and the colony’s president would come and choose a situation card from a jar. These included some good things and some bad things that would affect their colony’s situation. We hid some foam fish throughout the stream and there were apple trees, pear trees, walnut trees, and other edible things to collect for food.
It was amazing how hard the kids worked! They were busy doing all the tasks and really truly enjoying themselves. It was such a memorable day. Our activity only lasted 2 hours, but everyone wished they could stay longer!
I created a file with some of the things we used for out activity that you are welcome to download and use as well. It includes our gruel recipe, the task list, the situation cards and a description of the activity. There are so many fun things you can do to make this activity incredible!
Jamestown Simulation Download
A great book we read to go along with learning about Jamestown is Surviving Jamestown by Gail Karwoski.