Mark Catesby explored the British colonies of North America beginning in 1712 during a visit to his sister in Virginia. Fascinated by the plants and animals that inhabited a landscape filled with both potential and danger, he began documenting his explorations with drawings and descriptions of the colonial environment. According to the Catesby Trust, "he was the first to conduct a critical study of the lush and varied habitat of the southeast colonies of North America, particularly the environs of the Lowcountry and the Piedmont area. As a scientist, he was the first to empirically observe and recognize the natural and man-made dangers impacting species’ survival. As an artist, his meticulous paintings and etchings of birds, other animals including fish, and plants captured the diverse natural beauty of colonial America a century before Audubon." Catesby's explorations would be an excellent way to study the beginnings of the Carolina colony or the southeastern colonies in general. This lesson features a "flipped classroom" technique in which students will review websites, videos, and articles at home, and then they will complete Facebook style pages that analyze the information they have learned about Catesby's explorations and his impact on other naturalists, artists, and scientists.
In what ways did the work of Mark Catesby in the British colonies during the 18th century influence scientists, explorers,and artists of his own and later eras?
Other Instructional Materials or Notes:
- 8-1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the settlement of South Carolina and the United States by Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.
- 1 Literacy Skills for Social Studies
- 8.E.6 The student will demonstrate an understanding of Earths geologic history and its diversity of life over time.
- 8.E.6B Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which species change in response to changes in environmental conditions. The resources of biological communities can be used within sustainable limits, but if th...
- C Communication
- VA.C Connecting - I can relate artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.
Lesson Created By: Eugene Ramsey Hardin IV
Lesson Partners: Catesby Commemorative Trust