The Age of Discovery
Age 11-13: Concept 2 - Semester 2: Unit 3

In this unit, you will explore the Age of Discovery and the Scientific Revolution. You'll learn about the reasons behind European exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries and the peoples that explorers encountered in the Americas. You'll learn how contact between Europe and the Americas changed governments, economies, and ways of life around the world. You'll also learn about the revolution in science that was happening around the same time with scholars making new discoveries about the workings of the universe and finding new ways of approaching scientific questions.

In your final project, you will share your thoughts on how one voyage of discovery and one scientific thinker's research changed the world.

Other Items You May Need

The Age 11-13 social studies units utilize a Timeline of Ancient Civilization along with a stack of timeline cards to enhance your child's understanding of the chronology of historical events. Cards are color coded so your child can easily see and compare what was happening in different parts of the world at the same time.
$6.99 #780 World History Timeline
$5.99 #781 World History Timeline Cards


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 7th or 8th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the seventh grade.

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Why Was There an Age of Discovery?
  • Lesson 2: New World Empires
  • Lesson 3: European Explorers (3 Days)
  • Lesson 4: The Consequences of Contact (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Copernicus and Changes in Science (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Galileo (2 Days)
  • Lesson 7: Isaac Newton (2 Days)
  • Final Project: Discovery Research Project (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze political and economic change in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries (the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason). (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the historical developments of the Scientific Revolution and its lasting effect on religious, political, and cultural institutions. (Social Studies)
  • Compare and contrast the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the Meso-American and Andean civilizations. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the artistic and oral traditions and architecture in the three civilizations. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the Meso-American achievements in astronomy and mathematics, including the development of the calendar and the Meso-American knowledge of seasonal changes to the civilizations agricultural systems. (Social Studies)
  • Discuss the exchanges of plants, animals, technology, culture, and ideas among Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and the major economic and social effects on each continent. (Social Studies)
  • Discuss the roots of the Scientific Revolution (e.g., Greek rationalism; Jewish, Christian, and Muslim science; Renaissance humanism; new knowledge from global exploration). (Social Studies)
  • Examine the origins of modern capitalism; the influence of mercantilism and cottage industry; the elements and importance of a market economy in seventeenth-century Europe; the changing international trading and marketing patterns, including their locations on a world map; and the influence of explorers and map makers. (Social Studies)
  • Explain how and where each empire arose and how the Aztec and Inca empires were defeated by the Spanish. (Social Studies)
  • Explain how the main ideas of the Enlightenment can be traced back to such movements as the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution and to the Greeks, Romans, and Christianity. (Social Studies)
  • Know the great voyages of discovery, the locations of the routes, and the influence of cartography in the development of a new European worldview. (Social Studies)
  • Study the locations, landforms, and climates of Mexico, Central America, and South America and their effects on Mayan, Aztec, and Inca economies, trade, and development of urban societies. (Social Studies)
  • Study the roles of people in each society, including class structures, family life, warfare, religious beliefs and practices, and slavery. (Social Studies)
  • Understand the scientific method advanced by Bacon and Descartes, the influence of new scientific rationalism on the growth of democratic ideas, and the coexistence of science with traditional religious beliefs. (Social Studies)
  • Understand the significance of the new scientific theories (e.g., those of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton) and the significance of new inventions (e.g., the telescope, microscope, thermometer, barometer). (Social Studies)
  • Understand the significance of the new scientific theories (e.g., those of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton) and the significance of new inventions (e.g., the telescope,microscope, thermometer, barometer). (Social Studies)
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