G1-2 History-European Exploration and Settlement in the Colonies-Trial Class


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All lessons in this unit will include: Warm-up Questions, Vocabulary and Guided Reading. Google Earth, Youtube, BrainPop and other platforms will be utilized to bring the students an interactive experience that assists them with the process of building English language skills while learning about the History of the United States. 

The homework will come in the form of reading or re-reading the text so they can answer the review questions when we return each class. Homework will also be given in the form of time to work on their projects and presentations, which there will be two of during the Fall Semester.

European Exploration and Settlement in the Colonies

Lesson 1: Introduction to European Exploration- This lesson will introduce the students to the mindset of the Europeans during early exploration across the sea. The class will use words like astrolabe and navigation to establish the context within Europe during the Age of Exploration. Students will begin to understand the world power struggle that has begun, and still has not ended, between European nations.

Lesson 2: Columbus’ Voyage- This lesson will focus on the Italian explorer’s journey to the new world. Students will learn concepts like West Indies and Northwest Passage while we discuss the reasons Columbus went on this brave voyage and the King and Queen who helped him on his mission. The students will also get a beginner’s course in economics to understand the deeper reasons behind the world power struggle over resources at the time.

Lesson 3: Settlement in the Americas- During this lesson, the students will be introduced to words like conquistador and concepts such as fountain of youth and The Seven Golden Cities of Cibola, while we discuss the many people who followed Columbus’ voyages. We will learn about their motives, which were each unique to the explorer as well as the roues they chose to get there. During this lesson, students will choose an explorer for who they will write an essay about. This essay will be shared out with the class during Lesson 5.

Lesson 4:  European Conflicts- This lesson will introduce a few more explorers who traveled to the new Americas and also will provide context for the relationships between Spain and France as we discuss their struggle over the newly conquered Florida.

Lesson 5: European Settlements- This lesson will be dedicated to the presentations of the students’ Conquistador Projects, for which they were given the prompt during Lesson 3. Following the presentations, students will learn about the first English colonies in the new world, including the mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke colony. It will also provide a broad overview of the relationships between the European powers and the Americas while explaining how the British Spanish, French and Dutch set up colonies in the Americas.

Lesson 6: Early Colonial Relationships with Natives- This lesson will provide more insight into the relationships between native tribes and the early English settlements. Words like squanto and allies will be utilized to discuss King Phillip’s War, which was a huge turning point in the settlers relationships with the indigenous people of the land.

Lesson 7: New England, Middle and Southern Colonies- During this lesson, students will learn words like indentured servant and plantations while they read about the economy in the early colonies. We will also discuss concepts like the Puritans and words such as grant in order to understand how and why people sought refuge in the colonies.

Lesson 8: Economy of the Colonies- This lesson will provide insight into the way economy worked in the early English settlements by learning words like apprentice and specialization. The students will also talk about the various jobs that existed within the vast landscape of the new colonies. We will look at the way each colony was similar and different based on the land they inhabited.

Lesson 9: Dilemmas and Choices- This lesson will take a look at the decisions people were forced to make as a result of the slave trade with the African continent. Students will learn about concepts like triangular trade and Middle Passage as they begin to learn about the exchange of guns, and other products for slaves, which put many Africans in captivity, working their life away in servitude.

Lesson 10: A Slave Colony- This lesson will focus in on a town in Virginia where the economy is driven by slave labor. Students will learn concepts like the College of William and Mary and Virginia Gazette while the students examine what colonial life was like in the royal colony of Williamsburg. During this lesson, the students will be given the prompt for their second project, a graphic organizer showing the causes and effects of the events leading up to the Declaration of Independence. This project is due at the beginning of Lesson 13.

Lesson 11: British Control Begins- This lesson will examine events such as the Boston Massacre and concepts such as the Quartering Act while we learn about the many actions and responses between the colonists and the King of England. Students will begin to understand why the colonists did not think Britain was correct in setting the colonies’ taxes.

Lesson 12: King George Strengthens Control- During this lesson, students will learn about concepts like the Intolerable Acts and First Continental Congress while we discuss the acts that were the last straw for colonists before they demanded independence from British rule. This lesson will also provide insight into the relationships between the natives and other tribes, as well as with their colonial neighbors.

Lesson 13: Loyalists and Patriots- This lesson will be used to turn in the Graphic Organizer Projects cover such concepts as loyalist and patriot, along with words like traitor, as we learn about the dynamics in relationships between the people in the colonies who were content with Britain’s rule over them and the people who were fed up with the control which the king had over their colonies.

Lesson 14: Revolutionary Mindset- This lesson will take a look at the people who were stoking the flames of independence with their fiery speeches and writings. Concepts such as Common Sense and words like militia will be used to discuss points about the times leading up to the Second Continental Congress, who would draft the Declaration of Independence.

Lesson 15: Declaration of Independence- During this final lesson, students will learn about words like unalienable and tyranny, while they examine the document that demanded sovereignty. We will look at words like while reading about the reasons why it was written, the rights all people should have under this document. Words like inequality will be used to discuss issues over their relationships with non-white races and the way colonists felt about the matter.

About the Teacher

Joshua Bowman’s purpose in life is to provide children with opportunities and resources to enable them to grow academically and personally. A California native, Mr. Bowman began his career upon graduating Cum Laude from California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) with a BA in Liberal Studies and an MA in Education. He has taught all primary grade levels and is currently teaching 8th grade in Monterey County. His dedication to the principles of service, and individual maturity is reflected in his long-term association with a national leadership and mentoring organization. Mr. Bowman enjoys a fun and lively classroom setting in which he typically focuses on critical thinking analysis, discussion, and the expansion of vocabulary understanding and usage.


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