Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Target Vocabulary: explorer, exploration, ship, compass, map, map key, kingdom, rulers, kings and queens, new world, natives, trade, route, slavery, country, continent, body of water, etc.
Objective: To offer an overview of how exploration expanded knowledge of our world through the discovery of new lands, passages/routes and bodies of water.
Reasons For Exploration:
It would be helpful to discuss the following prior to the lesson to give the child a more complete understanding of the associated themes.
I decided to focus on a few key explorers to give an overview of explorations significant to how our world was discovered in parts. I created this exploration route map template to use. The first step was to color the continents in different colors. I then gave an overview of each explorer by discussing who they were, which country or ruler they were sponsored by, and what their voyage route was. I explained why these discoveries were considered “a new world” to the Europeans. I spoke about the natives who lived in the lands where the explorers landed and talked about how some explorers did not treat the natives well. This opened the discussion on slavery. The lesson also included discussion on why native Americans were called Indians by Christopher Columbus, identified locations of the ancient Inca, Maya and Aztec civilizations/empires, and how/why the Americas were named after Spanish explorer Amerigo Vespucci. We then traced the voyage routes on the map and used crayons to coordinate with the map legend/key to make it easier to follow their specific route. We started with the Vikings and followed a chronological timeline forward.
Expand The Lesson:
You can expand the lesson by discussing in more detail the ancient Inca, Maya and Aztec cultures, as well as the first North Americans. You can explore themes such as, their homes, clothes, food, way of life, different tribes and regions, and how they used sign language to communicate with the Europeans.