Lesson Plan: US History: Mr. George Cassutto

Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2001

Objectives: The students will

I. identify the causes of European exploration during the 1300s and 1400s.

II. List the explorers that came to the New World and their contributions.

III. Describe the experience of the crew of a ship like those Columbus sailed to the new world. 

Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): Experiential Exercise: Sailing With Columbus

A) Read several pages on Columbus’ journey from The History News: Explorers (ISBN 0-7636-0314-7)

·        A World In the West

·        Strangers from the Sea

·        Do It Yourself Trip

B) Display pages manually or electronically on the PC via TV.

C) Arrange the desks to form a “Caravela Rodonda” (This link has images of caravels, the kind of ship Columbus sailed).

 Image: Desks set up as a sailing ship

 A Classroom set up as an explorer ship: a  Caravela Rodonda

D) Choose students to play the role of members of Columbus' crew. 

E) Another smaller group should be chosen to play the role of the natives on San Salvador and Hispaniola.

F) The teacher acts as Columbus.  Have the crew do the following things:

Main Activity: Writing About Exploration (Continued from previous classes)

A) Have students turn to the first available left side page in their Interactive Student Notebook.

B) Distribute the printed version of the prompt and have students use glue sticks to paste the prompt into their notebooks.

“Dear Diary”

Imagine that you are a sailor on one of Columbus’ ships. You are about to leave Spain for what you think will be India. You know the journey will last several months or more. You have heard rumors of dangers beyond the known world. You are leaving friends and family behind, putting your faith in Columbus as a sea captain. Write a journal entry dated “summer, 1492” to a family member describing why you are going on the voyage, and describe your fears and hopes. Then add another entry dated “October, 1492” describing what you and your shipmates found after landing in the New World. Add an illustration if it helps your reader understand what you wrote.

C) Allow students 10-15 minutes to write in their notebooks their reaction to the prompt.

D) If students have completed the writing previously, have them add to the material based on the experiential exercise.

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): Debriefing the Experience of Columbus' Voyage

A) Have students share their paragraphs by summarizing what they wrote in their notebooks.

B) Ask students verbally:

Evaluation: The lesson will be evaluated by:

I. The accuracy of student's written responses;

II. Student’s scores on future tests and quizzes.

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