Lesson details


Social Studies

English Language Arts


Inquiry-Based Literacy

Reading - Informational Text




Early European Colonies

Employ a critical stance

Examine context to broaden inquiry

Formulate questions

Gather/evaluate information from primary/secondary sources

Meaning and Context-Cite evidence to support analysis

Meaning, Context, and Craft-Avoid plagiarism

Meaning, Context, and Craft-Use relevant information from multiple print/multimedia sources

Meaning, Context, and Craft-Write argument text

Recommended Technology: 

Computers/tablets with internet access

Other instructional materials or notes: 

Click the links below for tips for creating videos:


Colonists Wanted!

Multiple days
Lesson type: 
Project Based Lesson
Lesson overview: 

As a result of the explorations of the Spanish, French, and English, there was much competition to settle permanent colonies in the New World.  There were many hardships (such as disease, climate, native peoples, etc.) that the colonists had to overcome in order to establish these settlements.  Not all of the settlements survived, but there was a competition to see which could.
Problem: You have just been hired by one of the European nations (France, Spain, or England) to recruit colonists for the new South Carolina colony.  Your goal is to create a commercial that will convince Europeans who are considered moving to the New World to come and live in your colony.  Your video must tell them where they will likely settle, what they will do for a living once there, and how their lives will be better.  However, the newly established FCC (Federal Communications Commission) requires that your video also include any possible dangers and pitfalls to moving to the South Carolina colony.

As you prepare your commercial, be sure to answer these questions:

  • How did the Spanish, French, and English start colonies with distinct qualities in North America?  Where were these colonies located?
  • What were the success and failures, pitfalls, and dangers that faced settlers in each of these colonies?
Essential Question: 

How does a government or individual convince colonists to take a perilous voyage overseas to start a new colony in a potentially hostile environment?

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