New Encounters: Asking Questions and Inferring Motive from Prime Sources

In this three-day lesson, 3rd-Graders will be guided through a primary source describing an encounter between California Coast Miwok and the English privateer Sir Francis Drake. Starting with a roleplaying activity (Alien Greeting Game), students will experience and reflect on the confusion that can occur when people from different cultures meet for the first time. Then, through excerpts from the journal of Frances Fletcher, the chaplain aboard the Golden Hind, students will develop a list of research questions. The lesson ends with a connection to the Doctrine of Discipline, which reveals the true motive of Sir Francis Drake and other European colonizers. Please note that this three-day lesson takes place in the middle of a unit on Coast Miwok, so the students already have some familiarity with the topic.

School name: 

Willow Creek Academy

School district: 

Sausalito Marin City School District



Grade Level: 


Subject Area Focus: 

English Language Arts
Social Studies/History

Estimated days to complete: 


Creator Name: 

Kevin Breakstone