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Excavate test unit
Dr. Martin Gallivan and Gloucester teachers participating in the 2004 teacher field school.


The following webpage was created for teachers who would like to incorporate research at Werowocomoco into their lesson plans. The page is broken up into two sections: a review of the annual Gloucester teacher field school and list of the SOLs related to Virginia Indians and their history. Each year there is a field school for Gloucester teachers who help the students and the research group excavate while recieving an introduction to archaeology and learning about Virginia Indian history and culture. The following summarizes field school students and teachersimpressions.

Teacher Field School at Werowocomoco, 2004

In 2004, the Werowocomoco Research Group (WRG) worked with Gloucester County school teachers as part of a cooperative educational experience sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH). During the summer's archaeological field school five teachers from Petsworth elementary school worked with the WRG and students from the College of William and Mary learning archaeological field techniques and developing lesson plans based on their experiences at Werowocomoco.

Excavate test unit
Teacher field school participants work with Sara Tolbert screening a test unit near the riverfront.

Theresa Owen, a senior Anthropology major at William and Mary, was amazed at how much history was just beneath the surface. But what was more interesting to her, though, was "how archaeologists could piece together information about the history and culture of the Virginia Indians from more than 400 years ago." Eddie Dunlap, also a senior Anthropology major at William and Mary, added that the excavation greatly changed his perception of archaeology. He hopes that the work at Werowocomoco changes peoples' perceptions of archaeology and what it can tell us about the past. "It is not simply the artifacts which archaeologists search for," Dunlap explains, "but the context and association with their location that tells the real story of the site."

Leonard "Preston" Higgins, an elementary school teacher with over thirty-one years of experience, was amazed at what he could learn from just a week working at Werowocomoco. "I hope to transfer my enthusiasm for history and its importance to my very impressionable 4th and 5th graders." For Rhonda Lowe Taylor, the experience of working at Werowocomoco and learning from the archaeologists and students "breathed life" into the Virginia studies she teaches her students. Fellow teacher Roberta Shifflett adds "I think it is important to better understand the lives of Virginia Indians in the past so we can better teach our students who these people were and how they influenced all of our history."

Excavate test unit
Teacher field school participants work with Lynn Ripley on a test unit near the riverfront.









Listed below are the pertinent sections of the Virginia SOLs related to Virginia Indian history. These sections are verbatum from the state guidelines.

K.1 Pocahontas: She was an Indian girl (First American) who was a helper and friend to the settlers in Jamestown.

2.2 Students will compare the lives (lifeways) and contributions of American Indians with emphasis on the Powhatans of the Eastern Woodlands and other regions of the US.

2.4 Geography-locating the region of the Powhatan Indians on maps.
The Powhatans farmed, fished, hunted, used trees for homes and canoes, and gathered plants for food.

2.5 Locate the James River on maps.

VS.2d Artifacts such as arrowheads, pottery, and other tools that have been found tell a lot about the people who lived in Virginia.
Powhatans were Algonquian speakers.

VS.2e Virginia's Indians are referred to as Eastern Woodland Indians.

Adaptation to the environment: The kinds of food they ate, the clothing they wore and the shelters they had depended upon the seasons. Foods changed with the seasons. In winter, they hunted birds and animals. In spring they fished and picked berries. In summer they grew crops (beans, corn squash). In fall they harvested crops. Animal skins (deerskin) were used for clothing. Shelter was made from materials around them.

VS.3a Students will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by explaining the reasons for English colonization.

VS.3g The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by describing the interactions between the English settlers and the Powhatan people, including the contributions of the Powhatans to the survival of the settlers.

  • Captain John Smith initiated trading relationships with the Powhatans.
  • The Powhatans traded food, furs and leather with the English in exchange for tools, pots, guns, and other goods.

The Powhatan people contributed to the survival of the Jamestown settlers in several ways:

  • Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, believed the English and American Indians (First Americans) could live in harmony.
  • Pocahontas began a friendship with the colonists that helped them survive.
  • The Powhatans introduced new crops to the English, including corn and tobacco.
  • The Powhatan people realized the English settlement would continue to grow.
  • The Powhatans saw the colonists as invaders that would take over their land.

VS.4b The student wil demonstrate knowledge of the life in the Virginia colony by describing how European immigrants, Africans and American Indians influenced the cultural landscape and changed the relationship between the Virginia colony and England.
Place names reflect culture.

US1.3a The student will demonstrate knowledge of how early cultures developed in North America by locating where the American Indians settled (emphasis on several areas including Eastern Woodland-Iroquois).

US1.3b The student will demonstrate knowledge of how early cultures developed in North America by describing how the American Indians used their environment to obtain food, clothing and shelter.

US1.4b The student will demonstrate knowledge of European exploration in North America and West Africa by describing cultural interactions between European and American Indians that led to cooperation and conflict.

US1.5a The student will demonstrate knowledge of the factors that shaped colonial America by describing the religious and economic events and conditions that led to the colonization of America.