My Big Symbolic Colonial Wedding

The Wedding of Pocahontas and John Rolfe

Target Students: 8th Grade

Historical Skills: Sourcing

Guiding Source Questions:

• Who painted this?

• What is the painter’s perspective?

• When was it painted?

• Where was it painted?

• Why was it painted?

• Is it reliable? Why or why not?

Description: This mini-lesson gives students a chance to source a document. Sourcing a document is an opportunity to identify the painter’s positions on the historical event. Identify and evaluate the author’s purpose in producing the document. Hypothesize what the painter will produce before looking at the painting. Evaluate the source’s reliability by considering genre, audience, and purpose. This lesson helps students understand an important aspect of sourcing, which is, the time elapsed between when a document was produced and the events that it depicts.

Title: The Wedding of Pocahontas with John Rolfe

Artist: Anton Hohenstein, 1823

Published: Joseph Hoover, c1867, Philadelphia

Summary: Large gathering of Natives and Englishmen for an outdoor wedding ceremony between Pocahontas and John Rolfe

Source: Library of Congress

Directions: Use the image to the right to answer the question

Question: The painting, “The Wedding of Pocahontas with John Rolfe,” is a useful resource for historians who wish to understand the wedding of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Do you agree or Disagree? Support your answer.

Reflection: After working on my mini-lesson for two weeks, I fully understand what it means for students to engage in historical thinking. It is essential for lessons to employ historical thinking skills such as sourcing, contextualizing, and corroborating. The historical thinking chart created by Stanford History Education Group (SHEG), is a great resource for teachers who are developing lessons. Within my lesson I focused on the historical thinking skill of sourcing. I was able to use the SHEG website as a resource to help build and guide my lesson. The peer review process also gave me a chance to expand my lesson. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of producing a mini-lesson using Google presentation. The lessons produced by our class will give students a chance to develop in historical thinking skills and engage with primary sources.

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