Early Explorers
Age 8-10: Concept 4 - Exploration and Survival: Unit 2

Trace the routes of early European explorers in the new world. Examine the positive and negative outcomes of exploration for both the European nations and the native populations in the Americas. Investigate the early civilizations of the Mayas and Incas. Simulate the planning process for an early explorer as he prepares for an adventure to unknown lands.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be taught in conjunction with the literature unit Pedro's Journal.

Other Items You May Need

The Age 8-10 social studies units utilize a laminated timeline poster to enhance your child's understanding of the chronology of historical events.
$4.99 #332 8-10 Timeline


  • Able to read and comprehend chapter books at a 4th or 5th grade reading level
  • Able to write an organized paragraph
  • Usually used by children in fourth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Exploration
  • Lesson 2: Sailing (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: Christopher Columbus
  • Lesson 4: Spanish Explorers and Mayas and Incas (2 Days)
  • Lesson 5: Explorers from Portugal (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: French and English Explorers
  • Lesson 7: Exploration Continues
  • Final Project: The Life of an Explorer (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories. (Science)
  • Plan and implement investigations. (Science)
  • Represent the natural world using models. (Science)
  • Describe how individuals, events, and ideas have changed communities over time. (Social Studies)
  • Describe how individuals, such as Christopher Columbus, contributed to the expansion of existing communities or to the creation of new communities. (Social Studies)
  • Distinguish between various types of maps and globes. (Social Studies)
  • Identify and use the compass rose. (Social Studies)
  • Identify reasons for early exploration. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the accomplishments (and shortcomings) of significant explorers. (Social Studies)
  • Use cardinal and intermediate directions to locate places. (Social Studies)
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