Grades: 4-8

This lesson plan accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Jamestown, Part 2, and can be completed over several class periods. See suggested times for each section.


Students will:

Activate prior knowledge about settling the Jamestown colony.

Identify problems and solutions faced by the colonists.

Use critical thinking skills to analyze how the solutions lead to Jamestown’s prosperity.  

Demonstrate understanding through creative projects, such as coding and movie-making.

Present projects and reflect on new understandings.



The INVESTIGATE and CREATE sections of the lesson require students to use Make-a-Map and Creative Coding projects. Assign the Jamestown, Part 2 Make-a-Map and specific Creative Coding projects to the class in advance of the lesson.



Approximate time: 20 minutes

Begin the lesson plan by activating students’ prior knowledge and making real-life connections.  Then show the movie to introduce the topic. 

  1. DISPLAY the Anchor Question on whiteboard and read it aloud: What led to Jamestown’s prosperity? Tell students they will investigate this question over the course of the lesson and will return to it at the end.
  2. ASK students to predict what challenges the colonists will face as they continue to settle Jamestown. Jot their ideas on the board. Read aloud the description below the movie player. 
  3. MAKE CONNECTIONS by asking students to describe a challenge they faced and how they solved it.   
  4. WATCH the movie Jamestown Part 2 as a whole class on the whiteboard. Turn on the closed caption option to aid in comprehension.  



Approximate time: 20-25 minutes

Prompt students’ inquiry and critical thinking skills by having them find key details to build knowledge and understanding.


  1. Students open their Make-a-Map Assignment and select the Problem/Solution template. They type the question they will answer at the top: What problems the settlers faced and how did they solve them?
  2. As they watch the movie again, students identify problems the settlers faced and how they solved them. Evidence can be text, images, and movie clips.
    Extra Challenge: Prompt students to also include evidence that connects how the solutions contributed to the success of the colony.
  3. Students SUBMIT their maps when they are done.



Approximate time: 20-30 minutes

Students demonstrate their understanding by synthesizing their ideas and expressing them through one or more of the following hands-on, creative projects.  They can work individually or collaborate. Remind them to use evidence from their concept maps in their creations.


  • A Jamestown Update: Code a newscast about an event that led to Jamestown’s success. Examples may include the marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe; the establishment of the House of Burgesses; the production of tobacco; etc.   
  • A Settler’s Diary: Provide a glimpse into life in Jamestown from the point of view of a settler at a time when the colony was starting to thrive using Make-a-Movie.  Be sure to include how the problems early on led to the colony’s ultimate success.
  • A Jamestown Museum: Memorialize Jamestown by coding a museum exhibit of artifacts that show the troubles and success of the colony.



Wrap up the lesson with student presentations and a final reflection on learning.

PRESENT: Students present their completed projects to their classmates. 

WRAP UP: Draw attention to the Anchor Question again: What led to Jamestown’s prosperity? Students answer the question using their new knowledge.


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments