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Lawson’s Many Roles
Lawson’s Many Roles
This lesson provides a look at the life of John Lawson in his various roles
as explorer, surveyor, writer, land speculator, and trader. The student will
determine the relative area in which John Lawson traveled and lived. The student
will write an informational essay tracing the movement of John Lawson and summarizing
his contacts in North Carolina/South Carolina. The student will assess the impact
on and contributions of John Lawson to the local and surrounding area.
Eighth Grade Social Studies: North Carolina History
Competency Goal 1: The learner will analyze important geographic, political,
economic, and social aspects of life in the region prior to the Revolutionary
Skill Competency Goal 2: The learner will acquire strategies to access
a variety of sources, and use appropriate research skills to gather, synthesize,
and report information using diverse modalities to demonstrate the knowledge
Objective 2.02: Explore print and non-print materials.
Objective 2.03: Utilize different types of technology.
Objective 2.05: Transfer information from one medium to another, such as written to visual and statistical to written.
Objective 2.06: Create written, oral, musical, visual, and
theatrical presentations of social studies information.
Focus and Review:
Students will become familiar with John Lawson through reading and a variety of activities. Opening questions: Do you know someone, or have you read about someone, who was killed over something that seemed insignificant? Who is John Lawson and why are we studying him anyway? From the John Lawson Exhibit, go to Read More About It: Imagining a Life; Chronology of John Lawson’s Life; Among the Tuscarora; On the Trail of John Lawson; Historic Bath; John Lawson’s Journey (Map); Read More about John Lawson as an Adventurer and Entrepreneur.
Share background on John Lawson thru the use of Web information and other media.
1) Using a North Carolina map, locate the areas where Lawson traveled and lived.
2) Divide the class into groups: Lawson as explorer, writer, surveyor, land speculator, and trader. Each group will discuss and determine Lawson’s contribution to North Carolina history. Each group selects a reporter to report to the class.
Explorer connection: Relation of My American Project, 1714, Lawson’s Death (p.263-270)
Writer connection: New Voyage of Carolina-A Description of North Carolina
Surveyor connection: To Alexander Spotswood, Governor of Virginia, 1711 January 29
Land speculator connection:
Abstracts of John Lawson’s Will, 1708 August 12
Christopher Gale v. Joseph Dereham, 1713 April 15
Robert Daniell v. John Lawson, 1706 March 6.
Christopher Gale v. John Lawson, 1706 March 6
Thomas Peterson, attorney of Perry and Company v. John Lawson, 1708 January 27.
1) Fill in an outline map showing the states and towns visited by Lawson in his travels.
2) Write in narrative form an informational paper detailing the movements of John Lawson. Your paper should include the names of important people and other facts of interest.
Reflection and Closure:
What did we learn about John Lawson? How can we relate this new information to what we already know was happening in colonial America? In what ways was John Lawson typical and in what ways was he special or different?
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