Ben Lomond Manor House

Pocahontas: Ambassador to the New World

Pocahontas: Ambassador to the New World is the story of an extraordinary young woman who risked her life for peaceful coexistence between her native people and the English settlers. As one of the influential leaders of her tribe, not only did she save the life of English explorer Captain John Smith, but the entire English colony of Jamestown. Her courage and vision was far ahead of its time and jeopardized her life on more than one occasion. Through her words and action Pocahontas left a legacy that went well beyond her 23 years.

This program is suitable for middle and high school classes in American History, Science, Political Science, and Peer Counseling.

Students will be able to describe (either written or orally) the impact Pocahontas had on English and Native American relations during her lifetime.

assimilate to absorb into the cultural practices of a group; to make similar
ambassador a diplomatic agent who, while within a foreign country, acts as the resident representative of his own government or sovereign
Virginia US State
strategy a careful plan or method
tuberculosisa highly variable communicable disease caused by the tubercle bacillus that primarily affects sthe lungs
courage mental strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty
ritual the established form for a ceremony
exploited to make use of meanly or unjustly for one's own advantage
respect to consider worthy of high regard
colony a group of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with their parent state; the territory inhabited by the group
dominate to have or exert mastery or control
Jamestown the first permanent English settlement in America
King James King of England from 1603 to 1625
tribe a social group comprised of many families, clans, or generations
ignorance lack of knowledge

Discussion Questions:

  1. If you were Powhatan how would you have handled the arrival of the English?

  2. What is the Native American meaning of the name Pocahontas? Was this her real name? Why did they have two names?

  3. It was thought that Pocahontas was part of an elaborate plan to gain the trust of the John Smith and ultimately the English. What would be the benefit of this?

  4. Why do you think Pocahontas and John Smith worked so diligently for peaceful existence between the Native Americans and the English settlers? To what degree were they successful?

  5. As Ambassador, Pocahontas gained the respect of her people and the English. At the time this was an amazing feat since Pocahontas was a 15 year-old female. What does this say about Pocahontas and the Powhatan tribe?

  6. What environmental factors could have contributed to the lack of food available to the English settlers?

  7. Throughout the program historians use the words "legend", "myth", and "fiction". Why? Based on your knowledge of the story of Pocahontas and the information gained by viewing parts of the Biography® how much do you think is fact? Fiction?

  8. How did Pocahontas dispel the stereotypical image of Native Americans held by the English? Do these stereotypes still exist? What stereotypes exist in your community? Why?

  9. Would you have done what Pocahontas did for peace? List some other people who have dedicated their life to peace. How did they accomplish their goals?

  10. The Powhatan tribe had rituals for all major events that happened. What are some rituals you perform on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis? In what way do you celebrate these events?


  1. Create a 5-10 minute film on the life of a twentieth century Pocahontas. What events will you focus on? Be sure that your information is historically accurate.

  2. Pocahontas developed tuberculosis while in England. What is tuberculosis? How did Pocahontas contract this deadly disease? Is it still deadly? What precautions do we take today to prevent the spread of disease when traveling?

  3. How can the relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith teach us the importance of conflict resolution? Think of a conflict you may have been involved with recently. How did you handle it? What could you have done differently? What can you do the next time you find yourself in a difficult situation?


Books Fritz, Jean, Young, Ed (illustrator), Rojanovsky, Feodor (illustrator). The Double Life of Pocahontas. New York: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1987 Iannone,Catherine. Pocahontas. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995

McDaniel, Melissa and Iannone, Catherine. The Powhatan Indians. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995 Sakurai, Gail. The Jamestown Colony. Connecticut: Children's Press, 1997

Web Sites
The Real Story (a costume rental company [thanks to a student in Ms. Harris's class])

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