Age of Exploration: 15 Favorite Lessons (1-15/150) AMERICAN HISTORY CURRICULUM

Age of Exploration: 15 Favorite Lessons (1-15/150) AMERICAN HISTORY CURRICULUM
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LESSON TITLES:

  1: Textbook Study Guide

  2: Europe Trades with the East

  3: The First Americans

  4: The Explorers Game

  5: Explorers Come to the New World

  6: Christopher Columbus

  7: To Tell The Truth: Hernando Cortes

  8: Voyage of Magellan

  9: Trivia Contest: Age of Exploration

10: The Trading Game

11: The Game of Mercantilism

12: Timeline: Age of Exploration

13: Crossword Puzzle: The Age of Exploration

14: Note Cards: Age of Exploration

15: Map Exercise: The Thirteen Colonies

PRODUCT OVERVIEW:

Supplement the textbook and eliminate prep time with these 15 ready-to-use reproducible U.S. history lessons that make it fun to learn about the Age of Exploration.

Your students will enjoy a wide variety of high-interest activities for individuals, small groups, or the entire class. Among other things, class members will have fun playing The Explorers Game and To Tell The Truth: Hernando Cortes!

Most lessons have four or five activity sheets and can be finished in one or two class periods. Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key provided for each lesson. A majority of the lessons include a 20-question follow-up quiz. The quizzes can also be given as homework assignments or review exercises. Most of the information-filled lessons are able to be used without a textbook.

• primary sources

• critical thinking / thought questions

• reading comprehension

• map exercises

• charts

• graphs

• puzzles

• games

• contests

• illustrations

and more..

SEE ALSO...

Colonial Period: 15 Favorite Lessons (16-30/150) AMERICAN HISTORY CURRICULUM

Civil War Period: 15 Favorite Lessons (76-90/150) AMERICAN HISTORY CURRICULUM

Early 20th Century: 15 Fun Lessons (121-135/150) AMERICAN HISTORY CURRICULUM

150 Favorite Lessons: Exploration to Modern Times, AMERICAN HISTORY CURRICULUM

LESSON 1. Textbook Study Guide

OBJECTIVE:

To emphasize important information about American history found in each chapter of the textbook.

TIME:

Will vary since this lesson will not ordinarily be used during class time.

Each student is given a chapter study guide that helps them learn about important people, events, and terms in American history.

Class members will interpret pictures, charts, graphs, maps, and other illustrations in their textbook. The students will also construct a timeline, and answer key questions.

This study guide can be used with each chapter in the textbook to develop skills while learning about U.S. history.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions included.

LESSON 2. Map Exercise: Europe Trades with the East

OBJECTIVE:

To become familiar with the events which led to the discovery of the New World.

TIME:

2 class periods

This has been a very popular map exercise for my students. They draw, print, label, write, and trace on a large 2-page map.

This map exercise shows the trade routes that Europeans used long ago to acquire products of the Far East.

Class members become familiar with the events which led to the discovery of the New World.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 3. The First Americans

OBJECTIVE:

To understand the role of the Indians in the settlement and early history of the present-day United States.

TIME:

2 class periods

In this lesson, students have a variety of fun things to do.

Begin by reading with the class the background information. This is followed by a series of questions to help students develop critical thinking skills. Answers can be discussed at the beginning of the second class period.

Next, the "artists" in class will enjoy making sketches that show contributions of the Indians to American civilization.

For those class members who like competition, there is a contest that never fails to get everyone excited.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 4. The Explorers Game

OBJECTIVE::

To understand how developments in Europe led to the establishment of colonial empires in North America and South America.

TIME:

2 class periods

Students begin by reading about the events which made it possible for Europeans to discover and colonize the New World. This background information is followed by a Map Skills exercise, True/False questions, and Completion questions.

The class is then divided into small groups for the playing of THE EXPLORERS GAME. Players will hope to cross the Atlantic Ocean without experiencing a bad storm, a shortage of food, or some other hardship. Each group will have a winner.

The lesson ends with students doing a fun map exercise that locates colonial empires in the New World.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 5. Explorers Come to the New World

OBJECTIVE::

To become familiar with the parts of the world explored by the leading European sea captains.

TIME:

2 class periods

This lesson begins with a challenging map exercise that requires class members to use their textbook or an atlas to correctly identify continents, countries, bodies of water, and other areas. You can have the students work individually, or in pairs. Mine love to work in pairs.

Next, there is a Mapwork section that includes a chart with information about fifteen famous explorers of the New World. Starting with Christopher Columbus, students will print the last names of the explorers in boxes on the map, which are located near the areas explored by each person.

The most exciting part of this lesson is THE CONCENTRATION GAME! The class is divided into two teams. Points are scored by remembering which explorers discovered which places in the New World. Complete game rules are provided on the lesson pages.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 6. Christopher Columbus

OBJECTIVE::

To analyze the contests of the letter written by Christopher Columbus describing his first voyage to America.

TIME:

1 class period

Begin this lesson by reading with the class the introductory paragraphs about Christopher Columbus. This is followed by a primary source reading selection that contains five excerpts from a letter written by Columbus to a Spanish official in 1493.

After reading each excerpt, students must answer five true/false questions based on the information written by Columbus.

This activity concludes with a fun contest during which class members will work to complete a series of 25 sentences by rearranging scrambled letters to form a key word or name. As soon as each student completes all 25 sentences, they give their paper to the teacher. If a student makes one or more mistakes, they are eliminated from the contest. The first ten people to correctly unscramble all of the words win the contest.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 7. To Tell The Truth: Hernando Cortes

OBJECTIVE::

To become familiar with the expedition of the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes.

TIME:

35 minutes

Three class members are chosen to pretend they are Hernando Cortes. They will stand next to each other in the front of the room facing the class.

Fourteen other students are chosen to ask one question each during the game. They will be given a number from 1 to 14. This is the number of the question that they will ask when the game begins. Questions will be asked in order starting with the student who has number 1.

For every question asked, the three Hernando Corteses will each give an answer. Cortes “number 1” will always answer first, “number 2” second, and “number 3” third. Only one of the three is really Hernando Cortes. The real one will always tell the truth when answering a question. The other two Corteses will say many things which are not true. After all questions have been asked, class members will vote for the person they think is the real Hernando Cortes.

This game is played like a television game show. As the teacher, you are the “MC,” or Master of Ceremonies. The three Corteses will be called contestant “Number 1,” “Number 2,” and “Number 3.” The people who ask questions are called “panelists.” After a panelist asks a question, all three Corteses will answer before the next panelist asks a question.

After all of the questions have been asked of the three Hernando Corteses in the front of the room, class members will vote for the person they think is the "real" Cortes.

SPECIAL NOTE:

At the beginning of the period, when I ask for three class members to volunteer to be Hernando Cortes, almost every hand goes up. That happens because TO TELL THE TRUTH games are very popular. Several other TO TELL THE TRUTH games are available in my TpT store, including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 8. Reading: The Voyage of Magellan

OBJECTIVE::

To recognize the abilities and accomplishments of the greatest navigator of the Age of Exploration.

TIME:

1 class period

Class members read a story about Ferdinand Magellan, who was considered to be the greatest navigator of the Age of Exploration. Magellan was the first person to sail around the world.

After reading the story, each student answers questions which require them to think critically, make comparisons, and draw conclusions based upon what they have read.

There is also a fun map exercise which locates places seen by Magellan during his voyage.

This lesson ends with students competing against each other to sea who is the fastest to connect dots on a world map that traces the route taken by Magellan. THERE IS NO OTHER CONTEST LIKE THIS ONE!

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 9. Trivia Contest: The Age of Exploration

OBJECTIVE::

To introduce little known facts about the heroes of the Age of Exploration.

TIME:

1 class period

The names of fifteen explorers appear on the three pages of this activity.

• Leif Ericson

• Bartolomeu Dias

• Vasco da Gama

• Christopher Columbus

• John Cabot

• Amerigo Vespucci

• Vasco Nunez de Balboa

• Ponce de Leon

• Hernando Cortes

• Francisco Pizarro

• Jacques Cartier

• Hernando de Soto

• Samuel de Champlain

• Henry Hudson

• Robert La Salle

After each name, there are statements with little known facts about the courageous explorer who long ago made exciting voyages of discovery. But some sentences also contain information that is not true about the explorers. Students must decide which statements seem to be true, and which ones sound as if they are false.

Class members with the most "lucky guesses" are the winners of this contest.

Teacher Instructions and answer key included.

LESSON 10. The Trading Game

OBJECTIVE::

To understand the effect of mercantilism on European countries and their colonies.

TIME:

2 class periods

Begin by reading with the class the background information about the growth of trade between Europe and other parts of the world as a result of the Age of Exploration. Students then need about 15 minutes to answer a series of Thought Questions, which help to develop critical thinking skills. Briefly discuss their answers.

Next, the class is divided into 5 teams -- Portugal, Spain, France, England, and The Netherlands -- for the playing of THE GAME OF MERCANTILISM. The object of the game is for each country to gain control over trade in various products from around the world. These products, which are shown on a map on the last page of the lesson, were carried to Europe by merchant ships during the 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s -- the period of mercantilism. A complete list of Game Rules is provided on the lesson pages.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 11. The Game of Mercantilism

OBJECTIVE::

To understand the effect of mercantilism on European countries and their colonies.

TIME:

2 class periods

Begin by reading with the class the background information about the growth of trade between Europe and other parts of the world as a result of the Age of Exploration. Students then need about 15 minutes to answer a series of Thought Questions, which help to develop critical thinking skills. Briefly discuss their answers.

Next, the class is divided into 5 teams -- Portugal, Spain, France, England, and The Netherlands -- for the playing of THE GAME OF MERCANTILISM. The object of the game is for each country to gain control over trade in various products from around the world. These products, which are shown on a map on the last page of the lesson, were carried to Europe by merchant ships during the 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s -- the period of mercantilism. A complete list of Game Rules is provided on the lesson pages.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 12. Timeline: The Age of Exploration

OBJECTIVE:

To review the people and major events of the Age of Exploration

TIME:

1 class period

This lesson begins with students completing a series of 30 statements by filling in missing words, names, and terms. Each statement describes a significant event during the Age of Exploration. One or more letters in each answer are given as clues. You can decide whether to have the class complete this section as a contest, game, or an activity for individuals.

Next, students will answer a Thought Question. Of the 30 events in the preceding list, class members must decide which 3 they think were of greatest historical importance and give a reason for their choice. This helps develop critical thinking skills. Answers can be discussed afterwards.

Students finish the lesson by labeling 15 key events of the Age of Exploration on a Timeline.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

LESSON 13. Crossword Puzzle: The Age of Exploration

OBJECTIVE:

To review the people, places, and terms related to the Age of Exploration.

TIME:

1 class period

Class members enjoy working on a Crossword Puzzle on the Age of Exploration.

You may want to give each student the option of working individually or with one other person of their choice.

GAME OPTION:

This lesson can also be presented in the form of a game involving the entire class. Divide the class into two teams. Start by asking Team 1 to give the answer to any one of the questions on the crossword. If a member of Team 1 gives a correct answer, that team earns 10 points. If Team 1 gives a wrong answer, Team 2 has a chance to answer any one of the questions on the puzzle. Teams 1 and 2 will take turns giving answers, and the same person cannot answer twice in a row for their team. Class members should fill in correct answers on the puzzle as they are given. The team that scores the most points wins the game.

The Crossword Puzzle is based on information in previous lessons. It is challenging and fun.

Teacher Instructions and answer key included.

LESSON 14. Note Cards: Exploration

OBJECTIVE:

To provide the students with concise reviews of previous lessons on the Age of Exploration.

TIME:

2 class periods

The class is divided into 5 teams.

Play begins with the teams trying to identify the missing words, names, and terms on Card 1. There are 10 blank spaces. Each team is assigned two of the spaces.

Each correct answer is worth 10 points. When a team fails to give the right answer, the teacher will announce the missing word, name, or term.

Team members may not talk over possible answers.

The same person can give only one answer on a card.

Play continues in the same way with Cards 2-11.

Have students write the correct answers on the back of each card as they are given during the game. The cards can be used later to review the Age of Exploration.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included.

LESSON 15. Map Exercise: The Thirteen Colonies

OBJECTIVE:

To understand the events which led to the founding of the Thirteen English Colonies in America.

TIME:

30 minutes

Begin by reading with the class the background information about the events which led to the founding of the Thirteen Colonies. Once they have finished, assign the Map Exercise.

Class members will label the four New England Colonies, four Middle Colonies, and the five Southern Colonies. Also, four historical events and the dates when they occurred will be printed on the map. Students then print the names of early American towns on the map.

Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.

Total Pages
86 pages
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
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