North Carolina History Digital Textbook Project

Two worlds: Educator's guide

By Pauline S. Johnson

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This lesson was designed to be used with students who have not had much practice in using primary source documents in the classroom. While the lesson is written as a small group activity, the worksheet can be done individually or in small groups. It can also be a teacher-directed lesson in which the teacher asks the questions and the students/groups answer orally.

One of the objectives in using primary source documents in the classroom is to begin to get students to read and think critically. We need to encourage our students to question source material and realize that the past was experienced in different ways by different individuals, and that there are different interpretations and multiple perspectives for any historical event.

For classes that have had practice with using primary source documents, the teacher may choose to use fewer of the available questions.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will read about the Amadas and Barlowe exploration to coastal North Carolina in 1584
  • Students will analyze a primary source document
  • Students will engage in critical thinking

Teacher planning

Materials needed

  • Computer with internet access for each student or group or
  • LCD projector with computer with internet access or
  • Copies of “Amadas and Barlowe Explore the Outer Banks” and the section “Hopeful Explorations” from “Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony” for each student (or several copies of each for each group.)
  • A copy of the “Reading Amadas and Barlowe” worksheet (below, and linked from the sidebar as a PDF) for each student or group

Time required for lesson

1 hour to 90 minutes

Procedure

Small group lesson

  1. Put the class into groups of three.
  2. Give each group a copy of the “Reading Amadas and Barlowe” worksheet.
  3. Have each student access “Amadas and Barlowe Explore the Outer Banks” online or pass out paper copies. Do not hand out the “Hopeful Explorations” section at this time.
  4. If using paper copies, explain to the students that at a certain point in their work, they will need another reading. Instruct them to get that from the teacher at that time.
  5. Allow each group to work through the worksheet while the teacher moves between the groups.
  6. At the end of the period, either go over all of the questions together or go over questions 23 through 30 and question 33.

Teacher-directed lesson

  1. Have each pair of students access “Amadas and Barlowe Explore the Outer Banks” online or pass out paper copies. Do not hand out the “Hopeful Explorations” section at this time.
  2. Using the teacher’s guide to the Amadas and Barlowe worksheet, go through the questions allowing the students time to read the required paragraphs.
  3. At question 30, either have the students go to “Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony” on their computers or hand out paper copies of the “Hopeful Explorations” section from that page.

Assessment

If you conduct this as an individual or small group lesson, the assessment will be a completed, accurate worksheet (see the teacher’s guide to the “Reading Amadas and Barlowe” worksheet for answers — some will vary).

If you conduct it as a teacher-directed lesson, the assessment is student participation.

One of the major outcomes for this lesson is to begin to encourage students to think critically about primary sources.

Worksheet: Reading Amadas & Barlowe

  1. This article is part of a larger work. What is that larger piece?
  2. Who wrote this article?
  3. When was it written?

This is an example of a primary source document. It was written at a certain time by an eyewitness. But there are certain things we must ask as we read through this document: under what circumstances was it written, why was it written, who was the author (his job) and who was his audience, are there any examples of bias, exaggeration, or assumptions that were made by the author, did the time the author was living in have an impact on the contents, how reliable is this source?

You will notice that many of words in this article are not spelled the same way we spell them. Spelling was not standardized until after this was written. If you are not sure of a word, try saying it aloud pronouncing the letters phonetically in a couple of different ways.

As you read this primary source, be sure to read the highlighted comments and underlined definitions if you are reading it online.

Read the first and second paragraphs. (“The second of July…” and “We passed…”)

  1. What was Barlowe writing about in that first paragraph?
  2. Why do you think he spent so much time describing the physical features, animals, and plant life of the area?

Read the third paragraph. (“This island…”)

  1. In this section, the Englishmen met a Native American. What was the reaction of the Englishmen to this meeting?
  2. What was the reaction of the Native American to the meeting?
  3. Why do you think Barlowe thought this was significant?

Read the notes on the right sidebar of the web page. Read the next four paragraphs about Barlowe’s observations about the Native Americans. (“The next day…”, “The King…”, “After we…”, and “After that these women…”)

  1. Describe the first meeting between Granganimeo, the “King’s brother,” and the Englishmen.
  2. Why did “King Wingina” not meet with the English?
  3. Describe some of the Indian clothing and adornments.
  4. Why was this significant to Barlowe?
  5. What assumptions did Barlowe make about the Indians?
  6. Why might he be seeing the Indians as he did?
  7. Do you think those assumptions were reasonable? Why or why not?
  8. How might they have led to misunderstandings that created problems later on? For example, what were the risks of thinking of the Indians as innocent, like Adam and Eve?
  9. What were the risks of misunderstanding their social and political organization?
  10. How do you imagine the Indians interpreted these same events?

Read the next two paragraphs about the boats and pearls. (“Their boates…” and “The Kings brother…”)

  1. List several interesting aspects of these two stories.

Read the last three paragraphs. (“He was very…”, “The soile…”, and “After we had…”)

  1. What two topics seem to dominate this section?
  2. Why do you think Barlowe wrote so much about these two topics?
  3. Barlowe and the other Englishmen chose not to stay in the Indian village. Why do you think they did not? What might that mean?

Now go back and think about the questions that were listed at the beginning. The exact answers may not be given. You may need to infer (make an educated guess) on some.

  1. Under what circumstances was it written?
  2. Why was it written?
  3. Who was the author? (What was his job?)
  4. Who was his audience?
  5. Are there any examples of bias, exaggeration, or assumptions that were made by the author? If so, list several and the reasons you think they were made.
  6. Did the time the author was living in have an impact on the contents? If so, how?
  7. What conclusions did Barlowe appear to make about the land and its inhabitants?
  8. How reliable is this source in describing the event? Why do you think this?

Go to “Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony” and read the section called “Hopeful Explorations,” or ask your teacher for a copy of it.

  1. Who produced the majority of this article?
  2. Would you imagine it to be reliable? Why or why not?
  3. Does the information in this section help to clarify some of your answers to the above questions? In what way(s)?

Worksheet: Teacher’s guide

  1. This article is part of a larger work. What is that larger piece?
    The First Voyage to Roanoke
  2. Who wrote this article?
    Arthur Barlowe
  3. When was it written?
    1584

This is an example of a primary source document. It was written at a certain time by an eyewitness. BUT, there are certain things we must ask as we read through this document: under what circumstances was it written, why was it written, who was the author (his job) and who was his audience, are there any examples of bias, exaggeration, or assumptions that were made by the author, did the time the author was living in have an impact on the contents, how reliable is this source?

You will notice that many of words in this article are not spelled the same way we spell them. Spelling was not standardized until after this was written. If you are not sure of a word, try saying it aloud pronouncing the letters phonetically in a couple of different ways.
You may want to have a few students read some of the passage aloud to try this.

As you read this primary source, be sure to read the highlighted comments and underlined definitions if you are reading it online.
You may want to go over some of the highlighted material and the definitions with the students if they are reading printed copies.

Read the first and second paragraphs. (“The second of July…” and “We passed…”)

  1. What was Barlowe writing about in that first paragraph?
    Finding a place to land and the different fauna and flora there. They took possession of the area for Queen Elizabeth.
  2. Why do you think he spent so much time describing the physical features, animals, and plant life of the area?
    Barlowe was scouting the land for Walter Raleigh to give him a report of the area and its suitability for settlement. Answers can vary, but students should recognize that Barlowe must be writing this as some kind of a report.

Read the third paragraph. (“This island”…)

  1. In this section, the Englishmen met a Native American. What was the reaction of the Englishmen to this meeting?
    It appeared that they wanted to be friendly, because they gave him many gifts. The students should indicate some kind of positive reaction.
  2. What was the reaction of the Native American to the meeting?
    He also appeared to want to establish friendship and/or trading partners. He also caught fish for the English. Again, students should indicate a positive reaction.
  3. Why do you think Barlowe thought this was significant?
    Barlowe probably wanted to establish that the natives were friendly and would be of help in a settlement. Answers from the students may vary.

Read the notes on the right sidebar of the web page. Read the next four paragraphs about Barlowe’s observations about the Native Americans. (“The next day…”, “The King…”, “After we…”, and “After that these women…”)

  1. Describe the first meeting between Granganimeo, the “King’s brother,” and the Englishmen.
    Granganimeo arrived with many other men (40 or 50). He sat on a long mat with four others at the other end of the mat. The other men stood. The English came to him after he had gestured for them. They sat, made welcoming signs, gave speeches, and exchanged gifts.
  2. Why did “King Wingina” not meet with the English?
    He was recuperating from injuries sustained in warfare with a neighboring tribe.
  3. Describe some of the Indian clothing and adornments.
    Leather cloaks and “dresses,” coral beads, pearl earrings, copper pendants, copper “hat.” Women wear their hair long on both sides and men wear it long on one side.
  4. Why was this significant to Barlowe?
    Barlowe seemed to make judgments about the class of the natives he met by their dress. Answers may vary. Some students may make the comment that he was interested in the valuables like the pearls or his interest in the copper plate that Granganimeo refused to remove.
  5. What assumptions did Barlowe make about the Indians?
    He assumed that there were distinct classes (nobles, king, “better sort”), that the Indians totally deferred to the nobles, that they were somewhat childlike (making a necklace of a tin plate which Barlowe then says that Granganimeo thought would stop enemy arrows).
  6. Why might he be seeing the Indians as he did?
    Barlowe was most likely applying the English civilization to what he was seeing in coastal North Carolina. He also was sending back a good report to his boss. Students may have different answers, but should be led to see some of these ideas.
  7. Do you think those assumptions were reasonable? Why or why not?
    The answers will vary. Accept student explanations as long as they are supported by reasoned argument.
  8. How might they have led to misunderstandings that created problems later on? For example, what were the risks of thinking of the Indians as innocent, like Adam and Eve?
    The English may have felt the need to be paternalistic. They may have doubted the intelligence of the Indians and viewed them as naïve trading partners. Student answers may vary. This is a good place for discussion to encourage students to think critically and make inferences.
  9. What were the risks of misunderstanding their social and political organization?
    Answers will vary. Students should understand that the English would have made alliances and treaties only with those they considered to hold power. There was also an assumption that Indian life mimicked English culture and traditions.
  10. How do you imagine the Indians interpreted these same events?
    The Indians may have viewed the English as a source of trade to strengthen their power with other tribes. They were also most likely fascinated with what was likely their first view of Europeans. Student answers may vary.

Read the next two paragraphs about the boats and pearls. (“Their boates…” and “The Kings brother…”)

  1. List several interesting aspects of these two stories.
    A description of boat-making. One interesting item to point out, if students don’t mention it, is Barlowe’s view that the best tools they used to make the boats were metal that had been lost from a European ship. The English did not want the Indians to know that they wanted the pearls. They were hoping to find out where the Indians got them.

Read the last three paragraphs. (“He was very…”, “The soile…”, and “After we had…”)

  1. What two topics seem to dominate this section?
    Food (or land) and welcome into the village of Roanoke by Granganimeo’s wife.
  2. Why do you think Barlowe wrote so much about these two topics?
    The listing of food was probably to show the abundance of natural resources that were available. The welcome in Roanoke was probably to show how friendly the indigenous people were and how they would help in a settlement. The students’ answers may vary.
  3. Barlowe and the other Englishmen chose not to stay in the Indian village. Why do you think they did not? What might that mean?
    Even though the English wrote about how friendly the Indians were, they might not have been totally trusting. This could be a problem later on when the two cultures began to interact.

Now go back and think about the questions that were listed at the beginning. The exact answers may not be given. You may need to infer (make an educated guess) on some.

  1. Under what circumstances was it written?
    This was written on the 1584 trip.
  2. Why was it written?
    This was a journal of exploration that Barlowe was taking back to inform Raleigh of his land grant.
  3. Who was the author? (What was his job?)
    Captain Arthur Barlowe was the captain of one of the ships that Raleigh commissioned to explore his charter — while this is not explicitly expressed, students may infer this. Later, when they read the “Hopeful Explorations” section this will be confirmed.
  4. Who was his audience?
    Walter Raleigh
  5. Are there any examples of bias, exaggeration, or assumptions that were made by the author? If so, list several and the reasons you think they were made.
    There are several examples of assumptions that were mentioned above. Students may have different examples. This is another question that could lead to good class discussion.
  6. Did the time the author was living in have an impact on the contents? If so, how?
    Answers may vary. Students may point to the Englishmen’s idea that there had to be kings and nobles. They may also mention the irregular spelling, and they may recognize a certain patronizing attitude in the writing.
  7. What conclusions did Barlowe appear to make about the land and its inhabitants?
    Barlowe seemed to believe that the land would be a very good place to settle. He saw the diversity of food sources and the friendliness of the Indians. He seemed to believe he had found an Eden. Student answers may vary.
  8. How reliable is this source in describing the event? Why do you think this?
    The students will have different ideas about this question. The factual information about the land and resources would seem to be quite reliable. Less reliable are the conclusions Barlowe drew about the Indians and their society. Since this was a report back to Raleigh, he may have written more positively about his observations.

Go to “Fort Raleigh and the Lost Colony” and read the section called “Hopeful Explorations,” or ask your teacher for a copy of it.

  1. Who produced the majority of this article?
    National Park Service (Fort Raleigh National Historic Site) with David Walbert adding commentary and adaptations.
  2. Would you imagine it to be reliable? Why or why not?
    Most likely students will say yes, and that because the National Park Service is part of the federal government it will provide factual information.
  3. Does the information in this section help to clarify some of your answers to the above questions? In what way(s)?
    They should say yes. Students will notice that the passage gives a little more background about Captain Barlowe and why he was writing. It also gives a possible explanation for why some of the writing was overly optimistic.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 8

  • Goal 1: The learner will analyze important geographic, political, economic, and social aspects of life in the region prior to the Revolutionary Period.
    • Objective 1.01: Assess the impact of geography on the settlement and developing economy of the Carolina colony.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • History/Social Studies

        • Grades 6-8
          • 6-8.LH.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 8

        • 8.C.1 Understand how different cultures influenced North Carolina and the United States. 8.C.1.1 Explain how exploration and colonization influenced Africa, Europe and the Americas (e.g. Columbian exchange, slavery and the decline of the American Indian populations)....
        • 8.H.1 Apply historical thinking to understand the creation and development of North Carolina and the United States. 8.H.1.1 Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues. 8.H.1.2 Summarize the literal meaning of...