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This lesson provided by:
Author:Karen Wright
System: Cherokee County
School: Centre Elementary School
Lesson Plan ID: 14587

The Lost Colony of Roanoke


In this lesson students will build on their knowledge of the lost colony of Roanoke. Using the Internet, students will research theories about the disappearance of the colonists and use what they have learned to write and perform a play about an assigned theory. They will incorporate technology by recording the plays and editing them using movie editing software.

Content Standard(s):
AED(5) Theatre1. Identify various roles and responsibilities necessary to effectively stage scenes or dramatic productions.
AED(5) Theatre2. Select essential design elements to support a dramatic production.
AED(5) Theatre3. Produce an original or published scene using an organized rehearsal plan.
TC2(3-5) 2. Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.
TC2(3-5) 8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.
SS2010(5) United States Studies: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution4. Determine the economic and cultural impact of European exploration during the Age of Discovery upon European society and American Indians.
SS2010(5) United States Studies: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution5. Explain the early colonization of North America and reasons for settlement in the Northern, Middle, and Southern colonies, including geographic features, landforms, and differences in climate among the colonies.
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will identify theories concerning the disappearance of the colonists from Roanoke. Students will use the Internet to perform research. Students will write a play that includes dialogue, costumes and props. Students will use video cameras effectively. Students will use movie editing software to edit a movie they recorded.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: Greater than 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Needed materials for props and costumes will vary based on student preference.

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, video cameras (preferably digital), movie editing software such as Movie Maker


Students should have studied required text about the lost colony of Roanoke as part of their social studies curriculum. If needed, background information for teachers can be found at and Although not necessary it would be helpful for students to have had some experience using video cameras and movie editing software. Tutorials are available and should be used if students have no experience in these areas.

1.)Review timeline of Roanoke colony with the class. Have students discuss what they think happened to the "lost colony" and record ideas.
(Timeline Roanoke)
This timeline provides a overview of the Roanoke colony.

2.)Explain to students that they will be researching theories about the lost colony of Roanoke using the Internet. Discuss search words and search engines. Brainstorm search words to use to find theories of what happened to the colony of Roanoke. List the search words and phrases so that students can refer to them during their research. If necessary use the following website for tips.
(The Essentials of Google Search)
The Essentials of Google Search is a feature of the Google Help center.

3.)Divide students into groups of 2-3 to complete research. Groups will be given a set amount of time to find at least three theories concerning the disappearance of the people from the colony of Roanoke. When time is up, students will present their findings to the class. Different theories should be recorded for later use.

4.)Students will then be divided into groups of 4-6. Each group will be assigned a theory about which they will write and perform a play. Students will work in groups for 2-4 days depending on available class time. At the end of the allotted time period students will turn in a final script to be reviewed by the teacher. The teacher will meet individually with each group to suggest corrections and give feedback. Students should then be given a class period to revise their plays and plan for props and costumes.
(How to Write a Play)
This site gives an overview of the steps involved in writing a play. The is a good resource for students who have never written a play.

5.)Students should be given time to practice their plays. Not all group members need to have speaking parts. Depending on the size of the group, there could be a director, prop person, and camera person to record the play. Students will perform the play for the class.
(Adobe Digital Kids Club)
This site offers great tips for students who are new to digital video recording.

6.)Once the plays are complete and have been recorded students will work in groups using movie editing software, such as Movie Maker, to edit their plays. Because students are probably not familiar with movie editing it may be helpful for the teacher to model the steps during a class period and then have the students begin their project the next day. Editing should involve at the minimum making a title screen, adding background music and ending credits.
(Movie Maker Tutorial)
This site offers step by step information for using Movie Maker for Microsoft XP.

7.)Final products should be viewed by the class and turned in to the teacher for evaluation.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. Movie Editing Rubric.htm
Your Rubric Video- Preproduction Play Rubric.htm
Assessment Strategies:

Use attached rubrics to evaluate scripts and movie.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
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