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Structured around Virginia's SOL Standards, here are 3 complete lessons on European Exploration, specifically the motives, obstacles and accomplishments of European explorers.
Brief Lesson Descriptions:
Lesson 1 - HOOK - When introducing unit/subject, students complete computer activity, in which they look up information on 20th century explorers such as Roald Amundsen, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Neil Armstrong. Students then reflect on what types of traits these "modern" explorers may have (which is a GREAT segway into discussing 16th-17th century exploration).
Lesson 2 - MOTIVES - Students listen to song from Pocahontas (easily found on Youtube) and brainstorm motives for exploration. After cloze notes, students complete Venn diagram comparing today's motives to hook activity. Includes EXIT TICKET for an easy formative assessment!
Lesson 3 - OBSTACLES/ACCOMPLISHMENTS - Students complete brief notes on obstacles and are given space to sketch out depictions of the obstacles. Students complete brief notes on accomplishments, then answer critical thinking question on which accomplishment is "most important" and why (opinion, of course!). Includes HOMEWORK assignment in which students write a fictitious letter incorporating motives, obstacles and accomplishments.