By Kris Bordessa
The year 2007 brings the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown colony, the first permanent English settlement in what would become the United States. A group of men called the Virginia Company sailed from London and after five long months of traveling over the sea, arrived at Jamestown Island on May 14, 1607. Little did these men know that the task ahead was to be more trying than they anticipated – the New World proved to be nothing like London! …. more
When they arrived, there were no buildings for shelter, no stores, and no familiar faces. What they found was a wild and untamed land. They faced hardship, freezing weather, disease, and hunger but the Jamestown colonists worked hard to make their settlement successful.
It’s hard for today’s kids to imagine such an undeveloped area or the effort it took to make it livable. Remember, the settlers constructed Jamestown without electric saws or drills!
Hand Drill Scott made when he was about 9 or 10. The thing really worked, and we had fun with it for years. Called it our executive play toy, as we left it out on our coffee table and watched Silicon Valley execs drill a chunk of wood with it.
Kids can get a feel for just how labor intensive it was to build during the colonial era by trying out an old fashioned tool called a pump drill. This drill is named for the pumping action required to bore a hole. Colonists used pump drills to make holes for pegs in homebuilding or in other woodworking projects.
This activity is adapted from Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself(Nomad Press) by me, Kris Bordessa, and available in bookstores nationwide or online. Another great activity for your children to complete is this unit study about the colonies and states! To find out more, visit my website. Visit the Jamestown anniversary website for more information on what will be happening to celebrate.