Unit 1 Building Block 4

Routes of Exploration

Big Idea:

  • Where people live is shaped by economic, social, political, and environmental factors.
  • Discoveries and innovations change the way people live.

Building Block Overview:

Students learn how and why explorers set out for the New World in the late 1400’s and 1500’s and the effects of these explorations. In the Preview, students discuss life situations in which people have different views of a single experience. Students relate these ideas to the views of American Indians and European explorers in the Age of Exploration. In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students use an illustrated matrix to organize information about each explorer. You will also have the option of doing a Problem Solving Group work Activity in which students will pair up in teams of 2 or 3 to research an explorer and prepare a presentation. The class will view these presentations to complete a Gallery Walk Scavenger Hunt, discussing the positive and negative impacts of these explorations in a creative way.

Student Outcomes:

  • I can explain where, when, and why groups of people explored, colonized and settled in the United States.
  • I can explain why groups of people explored the United States for religious freedom and economic gain.

1.  Read aloud this marvelous book by Jane Yolen, The Encounter.  It provides a look at the arrival of early explorers from the perspective of an Indian boy, who sees greed in the eyes of the men.

2.  Building Background, Lesson Guide page 57.

3.  Social Studies Skill Builder, Lesson Guide, pages 58-60.

4.  (Alternate) Problem Solving Group Work (Personalized Learning):  This activity allows students to begin working in pairs for using their tablets to research a topic, then prepare a presentation.

  • With a partner, choose an explorer to study.
  • Look through the Early Explorer Presentation checklist to help set learning goals.

5.  Use the rubric to self-assess or teacher-assess.

6.  Use the map created in Unit 1, Building Block 1 to show their explorer's route of exploration.

7.  The students may use their textbooks, chapter 5, or the following online sites to research their selected explorer.

8.  Scavenger Hunt Accountability

Presentation Ideas

  • Since this is early in the year, I pair strong technology minded students with students who have less ability.  At this point, not only are they learning about the explorers, but also how to use the technology.
  • Poster: Easy
  • Padlet:  VERY easy for the students to use
  • PowerPoint:  They usually have some experience using this tool.
  • Animoto:  Medium to slightly difficult to learn
  • Prezi:  Medium to slightly difficult to learn

8.  Checkpoint Assessment