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This US History Lesson Plan Includes:
1. Bell Ringer/Opening Activity (Christopher Columbus Worksheets)
2. Age of Exploration PowerPoint Presentation (Christopher Columbus PowerPoint)
3. Guide Notes worksheet for PowerPoint
4. Content Reading Worksheet (Age of Exploration)
5. Age of Exploration Quiz
6. Exit Slip
7. BONUS: “America before Columbus” Video (Over 90 Minutes!)
8. EXTRA: Colonization and Exploration Worksheet (Word Search)
9. Answer Keys for All Activities
10. Already Aligned to National Standards
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Content Covered in this US History Lesson Plan
In 1492, Christopher Columbus left Spain in search of a new trade route through the Atlantic Ocean to Asia. In October of 1492, his ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, reached land. Columbus initially believed he had reached islands near Asia and called the people he encountered Indians. Columbus and his crew were not in Asia. They had reached the Americas. Columbus landed in the Bahamas Islands and explored areas such as modern day Cuba. There, they encountered the Native America people group known as the Taino (Ti’noh). Spain was thrilled with the expedition and longed to colonize the area.
The “new” land began to be claimed by European countries. This process is called colonization, when a more powerful Nation controls another area of the world. This meant they could grow crops, bring back resources like silver and gold, and expand their territorial control of the world. Colonization was meant to make European nations more wealthy and powerful. Yet, this also led to hostility between the nations of Europe. Eventually, wars developed to control the new world territories.
There were various impacts on Native Americans. The Europeans wanted to use forced labor and foreign resources to fuel their own economies. Armed with superior weapons, such as guns, they easily defeated Native American opposition to colonization. Europeans brought diseases with them, such as small pox. The Europeans had immunities to these diseases; yet, the Native Americans did not, because they had never been exposed to the diseases before. Therefore, the impact on Native Americans was harsh and drastic.
Due to the decline of the Native American labor, Europe looked elsewhere for slave labor. The Africans had the immunities of many European diseases and were taken as slaves. Native Americans also knew the land and escaped more easily than the Africans. This cruel practice of slavery devastated many African societies, particularly in West Africa. By the 1800s, millions of Africans had been forced into slavery. Slavery became heredity as well so that the descendants of slaves were also trapped in the system.
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US History Vocabulary in this Lesson Plan:
- Christopher Columbus
- Age of Exploration
- Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria
- Indians (Native Americans)
- Taino (Ti’noh)
- Small Pox
- Christopher Columbus Lesson Plans
- Christopher Columbus for Kids
- Christopher Columbus facts for Kids
- Christopher Columbus Worksheets
- Christopher Columbus Activities (for Kids)
- Christopher Columbus Printables
- Age of Exploration
- Age of Exploration Explorers
- Age of Exploration Lesson Plans
- Age of Exploration Worksheets