The Lost Colony of Roanoke


                         An entire colony disappears, leaving only vagues clues behind.

                            It is the greatest mystery in the history of North Carolina.

                                     Thousands of historians have studied this case.

                                                   Now YOU get to try to solve it! 



Your mission is to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of the Lost Colony. WHERE DID THEY GO??? Were they wiped out by the Native Americans? Did they simply move to another area in search of better living conditions? Could they have chosen to join with the Native Americans and begin mixing with their culture? Historians have decided that any of these options could be possible, but it's time for someone to decide an answer once and for all. In this webquest, you will carefully study the evidence and decide which scenario you think is the most likely explanation for the disappearance of the Roanoke Island colony.


Here's what you'll need to do to complete this assignment:

1. FORM A GROUP OF THREE DETECTIVES: This project will require team effort. Each detective on your team will gather information on a different theory.

2. CHOOSE A THEORY: When you have researched all three ideas, you will work as a team to decide which one is the best explanation for the disappearance of the Lost Colony.

3. WRITE A LETTER: Each group will write a letter to the NCDHM explaining which theory they have chosen and why.

4. PRESENT YOUR WORK Each group will share their decision with the rest of the teams through an oral presentation. 



Here are the steps you will need to take to complete your mission:

Step One: Select two partners to work with. Make sure that you choose a group that you can work well with! This is an important job!

Step Two: Decide which partner will study which theory. Once you have chosen, your responsibility to your group is to become an expert on that theory so you can help your group chose the best one! Here are your options:

       INDIAN ATTACK EXPERT: You will collect evidence for the theory that Indians attacked and wiped out the colony. 

       ASSIMILATION EXPERT: You will collect evidence for the theory that the colonists assimilated into (or joined with) a local Native American tribe.

       RELOCATION EXPERT: You will collect evidence for the theory that the colonists chose to move to another area.

       Use the following websites to find evidence to support your theory. Remember to focus on your theory so you can report back to your group!



Step Three: As a group, you must examine the evidence and decide which theory is the mostly likely. Your group must agree on ONE answer, so study the evidence and discuss it together!

Step Four: Write a letter to the North Carolina Department of Historical Mysteries. You must include which theory you have chosen, as well as what evidence you have to support that claim. 

Step Five: Prepare a short presentation (2-3 minutes) in which you will explain to the rest of the class which theory your group has chosen and why. Be sure to assign a speaking role to each member in your group!  


Congratulations! You have used your best researching skills to discover the possibilities of what happened to the Lost Colony, and you have used your logical reasoning skills to decide which one is the most likely theory. Through your letter and  your verbal presentation, you also demonstrated your creative and persuasive skills. On top of all that, you had to work as a team to reach a common goal. You have completed this WebQuest and done a lot of great detective work!