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Colonial House - A Character's Perspective

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From pbslearningmedia.org (Approved: begamatt), produced by PBS
In an experiment to experience the realities of life in colonial America, seventeen people in 2004 participated in a reenactment to build a settlement on the New England coast in a similar scenario to settlers of the year 1628. In this video segment from Colonial House, modern day colonists struggle to build homes, grow crops and fight frequent illness caused by exhaustion and exposure to cold. They also have to establish relationships with the native Passamaquoddy people in order to gain the seed needed to plant a corn crop. There are fears exhibited by both sides when the colonists and the Passamaquoddy people first meet. Lesson plans are also included with this link. (04:38)

Students watch a video segment that shows the reactions of colonists who arrive in America and people who are native to the area as they encounter one another for the first time during a colonysettlement reenactment. After analyzing the characters’ responses, the students select a character and write a letter from that character’s point of view that describes the meeting as well as the character’s feelings and/or reactions.
Why is this an important concept?
In order for the learner to be able to understand the major theme of a work, they must first be able to relate to the characters. If the learner can relate to the character’s point of view, personality, situation, motivation, or actions, it becomes easier for the learner to derive the deeper meaning from the work.
Ages: 9 - 18 License: Proprietary Owner: PBS Found by begamatt
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