Topic or Unit of Study:Edit

Age of Exploration




To have students participate in the exploration process by making decisions similar to those made by explorers while on a journey to a destination of their choice.


This two day lesson leads student through decisions about motivation for exploration, logistics of exploration, contingencies and emergencies in exploration and the rewards of exploration. The first day features students working individually through a bulleted worksheet to make decisions relevant to their imagined destination. The second day, students can write a short essay, make a brochure/cartoon, newspaper report, ect describing why they chose the destination, the details of the journey, the results of the journey and the rewards of the journey.


Learning Context: In classroom. Prior knowledge about explorers/exploration will need to be reviewed.


Day 1Edit

1) Teacher will briefly review idea of exploration with students, referring to explorers being studied.

2) Individually using worksheet, students will determine imaginary destination, briefly explain why they think they want to go to that place, decide companions if any, length of journey, hoped for rewards.

3) Collaborating with classmates by asking different questions to different individuals, students ask others what things they should take along on trip, how to travel to their destination, what to avoid (safety) what other resources they might find along the way.

4) Students review their compiled information, and begin to draft a narrative.

Day 2Edit

1) Teacher asks students to share answers from their exploration research- where they are going, how, ect.

2) Students then begin to work on their products. Students may work individually or in small assembly line groups (for making brochures or other multiple layer products- an illustrator, a copy writer and a layout editor), depending on the product they choose.

3) Students will finish product reflecting content criteria. Product will be judged against product rubrics which will be posted for class reference and available in class syllabus.

Differentiated Instruction:Edit

This lesson has very open performance task choice, so every student will be able to find something appropriate. The content rubric can be brought into compliance with the needs of any LD students through cooperating with the aide and Special Ed teacher.

Sample Student Products:Edit

Make examples of 4A work available


Students will work collaboratively & individually.

Time Allotment:Edit

2 class periods. 50 Min. per class.

Author's Comments & Reflections:Edit

At a simplified level, I delivered this lesson to my wife's 5th grade class. The students were extremely imaginative and creative, pushing the boundaries of the inquiry and performance tasks while staying focused on the content.


Instructional Materials:Edit

Pens, Paper, Worksheet. Students may want to use construction paper, colored pencils ect for their final product, these will be up to the individual to obtain


Students may bring ideas from Internet to class from home, on their own initiative

Technology resources:Edit

Internet Explorer

Materials and resources:Edit

Samples of Travel Brochures, newspaper travel sections, travel books, print outs from websites, ect. will be available for reference


AZ- Arizona Academics Standards

• Subject : Social Studies

• Standard 1: History: Students analyze the human experience through time, recognize the relationships of events and people, and interpret significant patterns, themes, ideas, beliefs, and turning points in Arizona, American, and world history.

• Grade Range : PROFICIENCY (Grades 9-12)

• Key Idea/Concept 1SS-P4(1SS-E13): Describe the political and economic events and the social and geographic characteristics of Medieval European life and their enduring impacts on later civilizations, with emphasis on: Performance Objective 6: contributions and roles of key figures, including Charlemagne, Joan of Arc, and Marco Polo.