2018 NETA Awards - Digital Learning Object

From: WHRO

Project Budget: $113,959

Background: Guardians of Jamestown 1619 teaches students about the seminal events that are the focal point of the Virginia Commonwealth's 2019 commemoration -- the first representative legislative assembly in the New World; the first recorded arrival of Africans to English North America; the recruitment of English women in significant numbers; the first official English North America Thanksgiving, and the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the Virginia Colony.The Guardians of Jamestown 1619 series consists of a short introduction, six longer topical videos, and an epilogue targeted to fourth and fifth grade classrooms. Teachers and parents can access the video series on YouTube. The video series features a young girl named Safiri who, while visiting Historic Jamestowne, meets the time guardian and is tasked with traveling back in time 400 years to find five artifacts that represent formative events of 1619 Virginia. 

What Did the Judges Say?

The videos were fun and engaging. I loved the use of music and the goofy paper animation. I imagine the kids would like that, too. The story-lines and introduction of archaeological science were engaging for this age group and the father-daughter relations were touching. 

The collaboration supported a pretty high budget, but it was impressive to see the in-kind contribution from WHRO staff. Very cool that it was shown to elected leaders who may support funding the series production. The lesson plans are full of great resources and classroom activities to make this attractive to teachers. I especially loved the primary source collections and their connection to archaeological and social studies concepts. 

The results reported were impressive, and Guardians deserved its Emmy nomination. 

This is a well-produced series of learning objects and extremely comprehensive lesson plans with other resources for teachers. This is typical of the fine work I have seen from WHRO over the years. I hope it turns up in PBS LearningMedia. I can see that students across the US could benefit from this resource.