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John Smith and Diligence

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • In what ways did John Smith exercise diligence to enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for himself and others?
  • What did John Smith understand his identity to be and how did that affect his contribution to the establishment of the Virginia colony?
  • What did John Smith understand his purpose to be in the events of the early 1600s?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Students will analyze John Smith’s character as a leader and his diligent actions in leading his settlers against overwhelming obstacles to contribute to the survival of Jamestown.
  • Students will examine Smith’s demonstration of diligence.
  • Students will understand why diligence is an essential virtue in their own lives.
  • Students will act diligently in their own lives to protect freedom.

Student Handouts