Unit Plan

Exploring Borderlands

What motivated Europeans to explore the New World, and what effects did their exploration have on Native American populations? The second installment of a 16-part American Passages series prompts pupils to watch a video and read several biographies of European explorers. They engage in discussions, draw pictures, write poetry, and complete a multimedia project to answer these questions and many more. There are also options for additional problem-based learning projects.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Have learners write first person narratives from the perspective of both European explorers and native peoples 
  • Provide scholars with examples of Aztec poetry and ask them to choose a favorite to share with the class
Classroom Considerations
  • Find the referenced video on the Internet by searching for the unit title 
  • Print the timeline and explorer biographies for student reference
  • Requires a projector or other video viewing device
  • Includes thorough overview questions and specific learning objectives
  • Contains comprehension, context, and exploration questions for the video 
  • Provides a wealth of information, teaching tips, activities, and additional resources
  • None