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Early European Explorers #1: Cabot, Balboa, de Soto, Columbus, Hudson, Cartier, Leon


Take a look at this complete and creative hands-on activity pack that is sure to captivate your students.

Students will love learning about seven early explorers with reading passages and interactive activities geared for 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th-grade students.

It includes information on the following explorers:
⭐Hernando de Soto
⭐John Cabot
⭐Vasco Nunez de Balboa
⭐Juan Ponce de Leon
⭐Christopher Columbus
⭐Henry Hudson
⭐Jacques Cartier

In this unit (over 95 pages in all!) the informational articles and student activities will help students think about the essential questions such as:
✔Why were the Europeans interested in world exploration?
✔How did the Native Americans and explorers impact each other?
✔What were some of the obstacles the explorers had to overcome in the New World?

This activity pack includes many interactive activities and creative learning opportunities for students including:
✔Anticipatory Set T/F
✔Instruments for Navigation
✔Navigation Mystery Flaps
✔Comprehension Questions
✔Answer Keys
✔Vocabulary Posters
✔Vocabulary Flip Flaps
✔Writing Prompts
✔Explorers Organizers
✔Explorers Timeline Mini-Booklets
✔Hernando de Soto Flip Book

There are informational articles and related student activities about:
✔The Age of Exploration
✔The Explorers Voyage to the New World
✔Native Americans & Explorers
✔Explorers Instruments for Navigation
✔Meet Vasco Nunez de Balboa
✔Meet John Cabot (and Sebastian Cabot)
✔Meet Jacques Cartier
✔Meet Christopher Columbus
✔Meet Henry Hudson
✔Meet Juan Ponce de Leon
✔Meet Hernando de Soto
✔For Elementary Grades – Second grade, Third grade, Fourth grade
✔Great for Core Knowledge
✔Common Core Aligned

Be sure to check out the PREVIEW for more information.

Introduce the unit with the Explorers Anticipatory Set of T/F questions to pique and build background knowledge. Read the informational articles: The Age of Exploration, Native Americans & Explorers, and Instruments for Navigation and complete the student activity related to each article.

Introduce the 12 vocabulary words with the real-life photo posters included. You could post these posters around the classroom and have students travel around to match up and define the words in their flip flaps or use as a center activity. These posters are excellent for a bulletin board display too. Also, the vocabulary cards are a great hands-on, challenging activity to get them thinking critically. There are also colorful maps included helping students visualize where their journey to the New World.

Next, create a learning station for each of the six explorers. In a folder at each station be sure to include the two reading passages about that explorer, voyage map, and organizers for students to complete. There are also explorers mini-booklets with timelines for students to complete. It entails writing three facts about that explorer, putting the timeline dates in the correct order, coloring, cutting, and gluing inside their notebook or a lapbook. There are two articles on each explorer: the character studies are in ones are in color to laminate and post on a bulletin board, if desired.

Meets the NEW Georgia Standards of Excellence:
SS3H2 - Describe European exploration in North America
a. Describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and English explorations of John Cabot, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Hernando de Soto, Jacques Cartier, Henry Hudson, and Christopher Columbus.
b. Describe examples of cooperation and conflict between Europeans and Native Americans.

This is a Digital Download. No Physical Product will be shipped. 



  • These specific files are ©2018 Heart 2 Heart Teaching, LLC. All rights reserved.
    • For personal use, classroom use, and non-commercial use only. It is unlawful to distribute any part of this file for any reason (whether they are free or for purchase).
  • Clipart, graphics, photographs, found inside this product are copyrighted. They may not be extracted from this file without written permission from the original artist(s).
  • We'd love to see how you use these activities in your classroom--- Tag @heart2heartteaching on Instagram!


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