Discovering Early America

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Quarter 1: Discovering Early America

Just like the explorers and settlers who discovered early America, students will get a chance to “discover” the motivation behind, and the effects of, European life in the New World. Students will try to figure out “who really discovered America?”  They will study Native American civilizations in both North and South America.  From the early Maya, Aztec, and Incan people to the Wampanoag of Massachusetts, how did Native Americans interact with the land?  

As they learn about some early explorers, students will reflect upon the goals of those journeying to a new land, and how they treated the Native Americans.  Students will decide if Columbus was really the hero he is made out to be in many history books, or if the Taino Native Americans were actually the victims of Columbus and his men as they came to the New World.  Students will create a board game that demonstrates their knowledge of early explorers and the impact on the Native American people. Students will also learn about how settlers found success (or hardship) in the new colonies.  They will research the thirteen original colonies and learn about life for European settlers.  Through a study of slavery, students will learn how life in the Southern colonies differed from life in the North.  Students will write and present original poems and music about the life of a colonist or slave character. In addition, after studying principles of economics, students will take a test and create a business plan to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts.  

Krakauer Discovering Early America Web Docs