The two 8th grade North Carolina History classes at FSI, under the direction of Matt Reynolds, Social Studies teacher for grades 8 & 9, and Edie McDowell, Director of Curriculum, have been granted charters for Junior Historian Clubs through the North Carolina Museum of History! These Junior Historians have just completed their first project-based expedition into the past. Their first mission: to investigate the Mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke using primary source documents, artifacts, and secondary texts from the existing body of scholarly research that has been conducted over the past 350 years. This investigation served as an introduction to critical, creative, and contextual thinking in the contexts of History and Art.
FSI Junior Historians have learned to write questions, seek answers, refine their questions, document their answers, and synthesize their conclusions in short Background Biographies and Portraits of Not-so-Famous-Persons from the Mystery of the Lost Colony. Junior Historians learned about the traditions of Elizabethan portraiture, the water colors of John White, and the legend of Virginia Dare, first English child to be born in North America.
The portraits were shared, along with biographical background knowledge, so that our FSI scholars could learn from one another’s research and creative synthesis. The final product from this collaborative endeavor will be a digital book with images of the portraits, all created as commemorative postage stamps to honor those not-so-famous people who played a role in the Lost Colony, from Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Lady Elizabeth Throckmorton, to Manteo, Wanchese, Ananias Dare, Eleanor White Dare, John White, Ralph Lane, and Simon Fernandez.
Please look for our digitally archived publication within the next couple of weeks.
Matt and I are both very inspired by the FSI Junior Historian Club members and their enthusiasm for learning and doing in completing this project. The Junior Historians of the Timekeeper Club were completely honored by the visit of Queen Elizabeth I, (portrayed by Sarah Caldwell.) Sarah, as Her Majesty, shared the Queen’s autobiographical account of the trials and tribulations of being the Monarch of England during the Age of Exploration and the competition to create Empirical rule, beginning with the young queen and ending with the death of the elderly queen.
Clubs: Historians of Tomorrow (aka “HOT”), directed by Edie McDowell, and The Timekeepers, directed by Matt Reynolds.
Please let us know if anyone is interested in joining our expeditions into the local history of NC! We are excited to explore the intersections between natural and cultural history. We look forward to the next inquiry-based projects at FSI and to supporting the Junior Historians.