Lesson Plan: Conquering North America


Objectives: The students will

I. identify the nations and explorers who colonized North America.

II. outline the effects European exploration had on Indian culture.

III. discuss the relationships that existed between the powers of Europe that colonized the "New World."

Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): Identifying Explorers
Using Chapter 4, Section 1 of Why we Remember

A) Have students complete these questions in their notebooks:

1) Define the term Conquistador.

2) List the three goals of the Spanish Empire in North America. (pg  94)

3) Use the entire chapter or the index to complete the chart below: The chart is available as a reproducible master file.
Explorer Country Represented Area or People Conquered
Cortez Spain  
  Spain Incas of Peru
De Soto   Mississippi Region
  England California Coast
Marquette and Joliet France  

An answer key for this warm-up is available here.

B) Review answers orally with students. Allow them to check each other's papers.

Main Activity (Instructional Input): Reviewing a Vocabulary Crossword for Chapter 4 (Conquering North America).

A) Students worked on a crossword puzzle. The puzzle was created by using a set of vocabulary terms which were defined and pasted into the Crisscross Puzzle Creator form at http://www.puzzlemaker.com.

The terms appear below with a space and the definition following. These terms can be edited as needed before pasting into the Crossword Maker. 
Each line inserts a new clue.

conquistadores It means "conquerors" in Spanish.
Cortes Aztecs thought he was a god from the east
Smallpox This disease killed thousands of Incas
Pizarro He conquered Peru around 1532.
Entradas Armed expeditions into northern areas.
Borderlands Unexplored areas in Mexico and N. America
PoncedeLeon (3 Words) He wanted the fountain of youth to be in Florida.
deVaca (2 words) He escaped from Indians and looked for 7 cities of gold.
deSoto (Two words) He found the Mississippi River.
Coronado He explored America's Southwest region.
Cabrillo He made it as far as southern Oregon.
Peninsulares Pg 102 People born in Spain.
Mestizos Pg 102 Children of mixed heritage with Indian and Spanish parents.
Latinos Pg 102 Lowest social group, a mix of African, Indian, and Spanish heritages.
Mercantilism Building a nation's strength with Gold and Siler.
Encomiendas A system where Spanish rulers enslaved a certain number of Indians.
SaintAugustine (2 words) Page 104 The oldest permanent settlement in the US.
Drake He posed a threat to Spain's empire because he sailed into the Pacific in 1580.
California It was the last part of North America to be settled by Spain.
Persecution pg 108 Being attacked, imprisoned, or killed for your beliefs.
Champlain Pg 108 A French explorer who claimed Quebec for France
Huguenots pg 109 French Protestants
Hiawatha He helped create the Iroquois League or League of 5 Nations
Armada Pg 111-112 A Spanish fleet defeated by the English in 1588

Guided Practice: Cause and effect

A) Use this study guide for Section one of Chapter Four to help students gain an understanding of cause and effect regarding the exploration and subjugation of North America by Spain. Variation: Allow students to work in partner pairs to determine the cause and effect relationships of the elements on the chart.

B) Then create an overhead of the answers and cut the chart up into answer squares. Distribute to students and review the answers by having students place answer squares in the correct place on the chart.

C) Have students check their own charts or have them exchange papers and correct.

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): Map Activity

A) Students should use the map of Spanish, French, and Dutch claims in North America on page 101 to identify each of the area on the map on page 115.

B) CD-ROMs or traditional encyclopedias can also be used to complete the following:

Have students create their own map showing the claims of European powers in North America during the 1500s and 1600s. Have them use a map of the modern US to indicate the Spanish, French and Dutch influences over place names in America.

Homework (Independent Practice): Creating a Student-based Study Guide

A) In preparation for the exam or quiz on this material, have students create on their own (or create for them) a packet of study materials based on the information in the chapter. Students can use their vocabulary crosswords to develop the packet or to complete the packet after it has been developed.

B) To develop the packet, have students create flash cards that require 3 elements:

1) A definition of the term,
2) An original sentence that uses the term in the correct context. Lower ability students can be allowed to find a sentence in the text that uses the word (but not the sentence that defines the term).
3) Other concepts can be presented in the form of graphic organizers, writing webs, or Venn diagrams. 

Below are examples of a study guide created by the teacher. The study guide elements are simple and hand-drawn so students can see that they can make their own. Students can staple or fasten their pages together when complete. For students who are computer-savvy and who have the software, the guide can be created on the computer using graphics imaging software such as Paint Shop Pro and PowerPoint or Hyperstudio.

Click on the image to view a close up of the sheet. The terms should be cut into flash cards. To download a larger image using Netscape, left click on the image below. After the larger version appears, right-click on the image and select "save image as..." To accomplish this in Internet Explorer, select "save picture as..." after right clicking on the desired image. Mac users, press your mouse down for a second or two and your menu will appear.


Terms and images Terms and Images Terms and Images
Above: Conquistadors, Smallpox, Encomienda Above: Armada, Persecution, Huguenots Above: Entradas, Borderlands, Mercantilism
Image: 3 Goals of Spanish Imperialism Diagram: Spanish Society in the New World Image: Threats to Spain's Power
Above: 3 Goals of Spanish Imperialism Above: Spanish Society in the New World Above: Threats to Spain's Power


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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