European Explorers: Age of Exploration, Voyages, New World Discoveries & MORE!

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The Classroom Nook
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF
276 pages
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The Classroom Nook


Your next third grade, fourth grade, or fifth grade social studies unit on early European Explorers is already planned for you! Set sail during the Age of Exploration as students discover and experience the voyages of early European explorers. Prep is easy with these engaging hands-on student activities (printable or digital) including learning centers, review game, and unit assessment - outlined for you step-by-step!

If interactive, fun, and rigorous is what you're looking for in a social studies unit (without the hours of planning and prepping that go with it) - then you're in luck. Everything from anchor slides, to printable or digital activities, to a unit bulletin board set is all included and ready to go!

This unit not only teaches students about the Age of Exploration, it invites them to become active participants as they explore through hands-on, student centered learning experiences!


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 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 the Age of Exploration and early European Explorers 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


  • 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. You can download each teacher and student resources directly from the guide making prep a breeze! Find a unit overview and easy-to-follow detailed daily lesson plans that outline 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 for seamless instruction delivery.
  • Student Explorer Journal - Meaningful student activities to go along with the daily lessons - all in one place! (printable OR digital)
  • 31 anchor slides to go along with each lesson to guide you and keep you on pace for each lesson.
  • A 60+ 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 (printable and digital)
  • 5 learning centers for teaching the Age of Exploration - Topics of each center 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)
  • Digital LINKtivity interactive learning guide - an virtual exploration of the journeys of the 9 European 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" - Unit Review Game
  • Formal Unit Assessment (printable or digital)


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Ashley C, 4th grade teacher says, 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.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Cool to Be Kinder, teacher says, 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!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ MissMiniMills, 4th & 5th grade teacher says, 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!

Take a look at the extensive sample to get a sneak peak of the unit!


The American Revolution

Westward Expansion

The American Civil War

World War 1

Native Americans of North America

Copyright © The Classroom Nook.
All rights reserved by author.
Permission to copy for single classroom use only.
Not for public display.
Please purchase additional licenses if you intend to share this product.

Total Pages
276 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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