Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.3b - Decision to Settle at Jamestown

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by

b)  describing how geography influenced the decision to settle at Jamestown.

Bloom's Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


The physical characteristics of a place influence a person or group's decision about where to live.

Geography has a major impact on how and where people live.


Location and physical characteristics influenced the decision to settle at Jamestown.

Where is Jamestown located?

Why did the settlers choose the site at Jamestown?


Determine cause-and-effect relationships. (VS.1b)

Compare and contrast historical events. (VS.1c)

Draw conclusions and make generalizations. (VS.1d)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (VS.1g)

Analyze and interpret maps to explain relationships among landforms, water features, climatic characteristics, and historical events. (VS.1i)

When the settlers arrived in 1607, they founded Jamestown on a narrow peninsula bordered on three sides by the James River. Today, Jamestown is located on an island in the James River.

Reasons for site choice

  • Instructions told the settlers to go inland and find a suitable place for their colony.
  • The location could be easily defended from attack by sea (by the Spanish).
  • The water along the shore was deep enough for ships to dock.
  • They believed the site had a good supply of fresh water.


Updated: Apr 29, 2016