The following is a 2-day (75 minute periods) common core-based lesson on the causes of the Age of Exploration and Christopher Columbus. This lesson can be used in the early stages of a US History course or in the Age of Exploration unit in Global History. Students engage in a variety of student-centered activities that promote a deeper understanding of the motivations behind European exploration and Columbus' voyages. Activities include:
• Do now that analyzes the benefits vs. risks of exploration.
• An analysis (secondary source readings) and discussion of the motivations behind exploration and advances in technology necessary for the voyages to start.
• Both readings include several thought-provoking questions perfect for sparking whole class discussion.
• Introduction to Columbus, video clip from 1492: Conquest of Paradise (video clip not included and can easily be omitted.) – questions follow.
• Reading on Columbian Exchange – creation of a thesis statement
• Document analysis – Was Columbus a hero or a villain – class discussion follows. An in-class writing assignment could easily be added
• NEW: Brief Columbus primary source
• Brief fill-in-the-blank style notes (filled-in notes included for your convenience)
As a Word document, this lesson can be easily modified for a longer or shorter class period. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Please follow me to receive notifications for new products. Finally, Please take the time to rate this worksheet. Thank you!
I also offer this worksheet bundled with two others from the Age of Exploration...
Bundle #8 - Age of Exploration - Global/World History Common Core