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European Explorers & Age of Exploration | Print or Digital | Distance Learning

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF
276 pages
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Overview: Students learn about The Age of Exploration and the voyages and discoveries of 9 early European explorers. They'll learn about countries involved in exploration, causes and effects of the Age of Exploration, discoveries in the New World, and more. Resources include a teacher guide, hands-on students activities (printable or digital), learning centers, review game, and unit assessment.


It's no secret - teaching history in the elementary classroom can be a struggle.  Teachers are faced with the challenge of making people and events of the past relatable to young students who have a hard time even remembering or caring about the events and people of last week, let alone last century!

That's why making history come alive in your classroom is so crucial to making students care about what they are learning.

But - lucky for you - I love a good challenge! I've created a unit that will make you the hero in your next social studies lesson (bonus if it happens to be a lesson you're getting observed on!)

"BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE CREATOR!! This is actually the third year I have used this resource in my classroom. Not only is it engaging but the kids have fun. What I really want to say is thank you! This year with everything going online and so many students having to do it virtual it has been overwhelming. She has done EVERYTHING in Google!!! I didn't have to go and create slides and quizzes because she did it." - Ashley C, 4th grade teacher


Each lesson has 3 components to help you structure your instruction effortlessly.

  • Introduction - During this portion of the lesson you'll review previously learned content and add on or introduce new concepts and content vocabulary that students will be working on that day. You'll start as a whole group using anchor slides before breaking out into small groups for hands-on practice.
  • Lesson Activity - During this time of your lesson students will interact with you and each other as they explore history through varied hands-on activities, often in partners or small groups. They'll record their learning all in one place in their students activity packet.
  • Lesson Reflection - Bring students back together at the end of the lesson to review, share, and discuss what they have learned during the lesson activity. Students reflect on what they've learned through journal questions right in their student activity packet.


  • Christopher Columbus
  • John Cabot
  • Vasco Nunez de Balboa
  • Juan Ponce de Leon
  • Giovanni da Verrazzano
  • Jacques Cartier
  • Hernando de Soto
  • Samuel de Champlain
  • Henry Hudson

"This had EVERYTHING I needed to teach explorers. It was so helpful and detailed. I really loved the explorer google classroom activity and my students found it so engaging. Thank you so much for such a great and comprehensive product!" MissMiniMills, 4th & 5th grade teacher


  • What was the Age of Explorations (what is an explorer?)
  • The Life of an Explorer
  • Maps - Major countries involved in the Age of Explorations
  • Reasons for Exploration
  • Discoveries of New Land
  • The relationship between Native Americans and Europeans (both positive and negative)
  • Artifacts and Objects used by Early Explorers
  • Cause and Effect relationships related to the Age of Exploration
  • Each explorer's (listed above) exploration experience (what country sent them, why they were sent, and what they discovered in the new world)


  • Detailed Teacher Guide with everything you need for each lesson. All needed resources are downloadable directly from the guide making prep a breeze! The teacher guide includes a unit overview and detailed daily lesson plans (some lasting more then 1 day) The lesson plans include easy-to-follow information about student objectives, materials needed, teacher preparation required, and the steps on how to conduct the lesson. You'll even find sample anchor charts and answer keys embedded right into the teacher guide.
  • Student Explorer Journal - Student activities to go along with the daily lessons (printable OR digital)
  • 31 anchor slides to go along with each lesson. This anchor lessons are provided in PowerPoint, PDF, and PNG image files to meet your needs.
  • A 60+ (full-colored) piece Bulletin Board set to reinforce learned concepts
  • "Searching for Gold" - a fun scavenger hunt activity to kick off the unit
  • Exploration Objects and Artifact picture cards for a small group activity (also available in google slides)
  • 5 learning folders with information about the Age of Exploration - Topics of each folder include: Life as an explorer, maps of involved countries, reasons for exploring, relationships between Natives and Europeans, and life in the new world. With each folder students will work in small groups to learn about each topic and then complete a short activity related to each topic. Students will rotate through each folder. (printable or digital)
  • LINKtivity interactive learning guide on the exploration journeys of the 9 explorers listed above. For each explorer, students will learn background information, the goals for each voyage, a narrative of the voyage, and the results of each voyage. Students will enjoy the story-telling style of each voyage. Students complete a flipbook (printable or digital) while exploring the LINKtivity
  • A "Cause and Effect" puzzle activity on the cause-effect relationships of the Age of Exploration (printable or digital)
  • "The Race Around the World" - Review Game
  • Formal Unit Assessment (printable or digital)

"This product is AMAZING!!!! Absolutely phenomenal I wish I could give it A+. Everything you need for a great unit of Early Explorers. My kids loved everything from the powerpoints to gold search to the stations. Rachael--If I could hug you, I would! THANK YOU! Keep doing what you're doing!" -Cool to Be Kinder, teacher

Take a look at the extensive sample to get a sneak peak of the unit! Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks!!


Native Americans of North America

The American Revolution

Westward Expansion

The American Civil War

World War 1

Total Pages
276 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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