Download EARLY EXPLORATION – Grade 4

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Suggested Time Frame: 10-12 weeks or 20-30 lessons
Essential Questions
• How and why do people explore?
• How did explorers and people they encountered interact?
• How has the world changed because of exploration?
Student will know/understand:
• 5. 1 The earliest explorations of the New World by the Vikings, the period and
locations of their explorations, and the evidence for them.
• 5.2, 5.4 The three major pre-Columbian civilizations that existed in Central and South
America (Maya, Aztec and Inca) their locations and prominent features and the impact
of the conquistadors
• 5.3 The role the Silk Road played in the exchange of goods, ideas, religion, culture
and how its closure gave rise to the Age of Exploration
• 5.3 The ways geographical discoveries influenced explorations, increased knowledge
of the world and required the use of new technology.
• 4.14, 4.15 The different European countries that influenced different regions of the
present day U.S. at the time the New World was being formed
• Use map and globe skills to determine absolute locations (latitude and longitude) of
places studied.
• Interpret a map using information from its title, compass rose, scale and legend.
• Compare maps of the modern world with historical maps of the world before the Age of
Exploration, and describe the changes in 16th and 17th century maps of the world.
Early Exploration Draft 8/09
• Identify the location of the North and South Poles, the equator, the prime meridian,
Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Hemispheres.
• Interpret timelines of events studied.
• Refer to the writing standards from the Literacy Task Force documents
To follow
Teacher resource: 1491 by Charles Mann
More to follow
Key Terms by Content Area
1. Vikings, Eric the Red, Leif Ericson, Iceland, Greenland, Vinland
2. Maya, Aztec, Inca, Montezuma, Cortes, Pizarro, conquistador
3. Silk Road, oasis, trade routes, Marco Polo, Spice Islands
4. Age of Exploration, Columbus, Vespucci, Magellan, Balboa, Hudson, Champlain,
Coronado (this is not a comprehensive list), West Indies, Cuba, Cape of Good Hope,
northwest passage, Portugal, Spain, England, France, sextant, astrolabe, compass
Additional Terms
longitude, latitude, Prime Meridian, Equator, legend, compass rose, scale, navigation,
voyage, exploration, interaction, geography, encounter
Early Exploration Draft 8/09