Knowledge isn’t power. It’s potential power. We have to let them practice flipping their power switches on by giving them opportunities to apply the knowledge they are gaining!
In this engaging activity, that they can do in the classroom or in their own living rooms, they really get to understand who the first explorers were and why they came. Why? Because they get to be those first explorers!
In this lesson they first read a narrative about the Vikings discovery of North America, and they are in the boat with Leif! This puts them in the middle of the action 1,000 years ago!
Next, they make a map of the Icelandic-North American area. This helps increase their knowledge of geography.
They will then add spaces for their vocabulary words and practice defining words as they race from Iceland to North America to be the first European to set foot on the continent.
You can use the vocabulary words in this lesson, or use any vocabulary words you want from any other reading story or subject (math, science, or social studies). I’ve included the vocabulary words we’re learning for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s story Mr. Tanen’s Tie Trouble, but you may use your own words, concepts or standards to customize this lesson to meet your students’ specific needs, no matter what grade or subject.
This engaging activity makes for a great integration with other subjects, and is one experience they are sure to learn from, connect to and remember for a very long time.
Thank you and enjoy being among the First to Set Foot in America!
Adam and the School of Athens Mind Adventures