Use this diary prompt to write about a day living in Jamaica - you might need to do a little research first!
Dip into the history and geography of Jamaica, and get a flavour for the Caribbean! We also have a full set of colouring flag, bookmarks and notebooking pages to print and use in your projects.
Ocho Rios, resort town in Jamaica
Learn About Jamaica
Geography of Jamaica
- Jamaica is a large mountainous island in the Caribbean.
- The island is the third largest in the Caribbean sea, after Cuba and Hispaniola.
- The national motto, 'Out of Many, One People", is unsurprising, given the large population of 2,880,000.
- Over half a million Jamaicans alone live in Kingston, the capital, founded after an earthquake destroyed much of the original capital, Port Royal, which was a notorious home to pirates.
- Kingston is the largest English speaking city in the Caribbean.
- The island’s highest point is Blue Mountain Peak at 7,402 feet, which is also one of the highest mountains in the Caribbean.
History of Jamaica
- The original inhabitants of Jamaica are believed to be the Arawaks, also known as Tainos. They arrived from South America 2,500 years ago and named the island Xaymaca, which meant “land of wood and water". The Arawaks led peaceful lives until the arrival of the Spanish, settling around the coast and rivers. They grew corn, cotton, vegetables and tobacco.
- Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica in 1494 to claim the island for Spain. Under Spanish control, Jamaica was known as Santiago.
- The Spanish arrival was a disaster to the indigenous peoples, with many killed by the invaders and others dying from European diseases which they had no natural resistance to. There were no Arawaks left on the island by 1665.
- In 1655 the English, led by Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables, led a successful attack and replaced the Spanish, and grew sugar cane for export. African slaves were made to work on the plantations in harsh conditions.
- By the time of the Napoleonic wars (1792–1814), Jamaica was prosperous, exporting sugar and coffee, but after the wars, sugar prices dropped, and the slave trade was abolished in 1807.
- Jamaica became independent in 1962. Tourism started to flourish on the island around this time, and Jamaica also became the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western world.
Fun Facts about Jamaica
- Whilst English is the official language, most islanders speak Jamaican Patois.
- The coney or guitar is the only native land mammal. It looks like a guinea pig.
- There are over 100 types butterfly including the Swallowtail.
- The national bird is called the hummingbird doctor bird because its tail looks like a doctor's coat.
- Ackee is the national fruit and is served in a dish with salt fish (usually a white fish like cod).
- Pimento trees, which grow in Jamaica, produce allspice which is used to flavour food such as jerk chicken.
- Jamaica is home to over 200 species of exotic orchid.
- The national flag is one of only two in the world that have no colours in common with the U.S. flag (the other is the flag of Mauritania).
- Jamaica is famous for Reggae music. Musician Bob Marley came from Kingston where a museum celebrating his life is a popular tourist attraction.
- Many successful sports people hail from the island, such as Olympic Gold medal winner Usain Bolt.
About the Jamaica Flag
The flag of Jamaica was adopted on Jamaican Independence day, August 6th 1962, when Jamaica gained independence from the British ‘Federation of the West Indies’. The design is a gold satire (diagonal cross) which splits the flag into four sections: the top and bottom sections are green representing vegetation, the right and left sections are black representing strength, and the gold represents the shining sun.
Our Jamaica Printables
Find out about the climate in Jamaica, and the weather conditions there today, then fill in this fun worksheet...
Jamaica is famous for reggae music and of course the legendary Bob Marley! Can you find out more about culture in Jamaica and write your research in the boxes provided, or draw/stick some pictures? We have both lined and blank versions of this worksheet below.
Jamaica is a vibrant, colourful country, but can the kids design a tourism poster that's bright, colourful and eye-catching too that will encourage tourists to visit there?
Find out about the kind of food that Jamaica is known for, then draw a typical meal on the plate. Perhaps you'd like to try eating this meal yourself one day?
Find out about the Jamaica coat of arms, then write about the significance of the different parts. You can then try designing your own coat of arms on our second worksheet!
Find out a little about daily life in Jamaica, then compare and contrast to your own life using the Venn diagram on this worksheet.
Do you think you'd like to live in Jamaica? Maybe comparing and contrasting your lifestyle with that of someone in Jamaica will help you decide!
It's always useful to know some interesting facts about a country, and this worksheet encourages the kids to do their research on Jamaica.
You can't miss the distinctive colours of the Jamaican flag on this facts poster - perfect for displays!
Learn the key facts about Jamaica with this useful factsheet, or print to use in displays or lapbooks...
These two location worksheets test children's knowledge of where Jamaica is located on a map of North America.
Our Jamaica national flower colouring page features the pretty Lignum Vitae. This plant is only found in Jamaica and has pretty purple/blue flowers.
Do some research about 5 things you'd see or do in Jamaica, then draw them in the frames on this picture gallery!
Jamaica looks like a lovely place to visit! Can the children imagine they are staying there and write a postcard for someone back home?
Have a go at designing your own postcard from Jamaica with this fun printable. What will you draw on the front?
This poster features the stunning coastline of Jamaica, with a beautiful blue sky and sea. Perfect to brighten up any display!
You might recognise the striking flag of Jamaica on this simple but effective poster. Print and use for displays and projects.
If you've been lucky enough to visit Jamaica on holiday, you can write about your trip here. Or use this story paper for some creative writing set in Jamaica!
This 25-page bumper study pack is full of fun activities all about Jamaica. Just pick and choose your favourite printables and activities, or use them all!
You could fill this tourist leaflet for Jamaica with things like maps, facts, and travel ideas! When you've finished, simply fold along the dotted lines to make the 3-fold leaflet.
Fill this Jamaica travel brochure worksheet with useful tips and information about the country, draw an interesting picture and try to write an eye-catching headline too!
Find out some simple facts about Jamaica and use them to fill in this worksheet, which also asks children to pinpoint the country's location.
What would you need to pack for a trip to Jamaica? Find out about the climate, activities and any potential dangers of a holiday there, then write or draw a list of everything you'd need...