Social Studies - 5th Grade
Standard 1 Objective 1
1 class periods of 60 minutes each
In this activity students will analyze explorers' maps and put them in chronologically order. They will then learn about the major explorers and the routes that these explorers took.
Students will understand the exploration and colonization by Europeans in North America
Why isn't America called Columbia? Columbus died thinking he'd reached the East Indies. (That's why he named the native people "Indians") Many explorers were looking for the Northwest Passage. It may be helpful, using the web site provided, to research the major explorers and their routes of exploration.
Students should have a pre-assessment of map skills and have reviewed skills in class.
The teacher will ask general questions such as:
Introduce the topic by handing out atlas or use a classroom map. Ask students how we got our maps today and did they always look like this? How do we know what various landforms are?
Break the class into 5 groups and provide a copy of each map for each of the groups without the dates. The kids will analyze the maps and put them in order chronologically based on the progression of the maps' accuracy. Have each group present the order that they placed the maps in and support their decision. Have a class discussion to find the correct order, and then give the dates. After completing this activity introduce the major explorers and show the maps that they might have been looking at based on the dates. Show the routes that these explorers took and discuss why they might have taken those routes.
Key terms: measuring chains, chronometer, sextant, level, quadrant, compass
Have students create their own maps from early explorer/colonists' perspective.
Students will compare and contrast the Speed map with the modern map using a Venn Diagram.