KEVA® Jamestown Fort

OBJECTIVE: Students will build a replica of the Jamestown Fort.

MATERIALS:

  • 100-200 planks per student or small group

PROCEDURE:

  1. Brainstorm with the students about what would be needed to house and protect the Jamestown colonists. Pose the question: What buildings would you need to build within the fort? Create a classroom list.

  2. Have students compare the classroom list to the actual Jamestown Fort.

  3. Divide students into groups and have each group build the Jamestown Fort. The groups will need to decide who will build each of the structures. Discuss with the class the fact that similar decisions had to be made when the real fort was built. How will your group make this decision? How can you keep the decisions fair? (Your groups may use a voting system or a simple first-come first-serve sign- up system.)

  4. Tell the class that the groups that work together will be more successful than the groups that argue and do not communicate. Again, links can be made to the early settlers learning to work together.

  5. Good planning will also ensure success.

  6. Ask the students to think about whether they will have enough planks left over to build the palisade. Can you build each of the structures that you need with the number of planks that you have?

  7. Building a fort with KEVA planks will present several challenges due to the properties of planks. Connect this to challenges the colonists faced. Just as the students must figure out how to build a palisade that doesn’t topple like dominoes, the colonists had to figure out how to quickly build a structure while still under the threat of enemy attack.

LANGUAGE EXTENSION: Have students write a paragraph about one part of the fort, telling why it is important. They could also write an entry from a journal of a colonist working on the fort.

 

 

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