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Ch 7: European Exploration & Colonization Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

Before you teach the subject of European exploration and colonization to your students, get helpful lesson plans by going through this chapter. These lesson plans will help you better teach the main topics relevant to the subject as a whole.

European Exploration & Colonization Lesson Plans - Chapter Summary

When teaching world history in the classroom, one subject that will come up is the exploration and colonization of the Americas by European powers. Go through this chapter to get lesson plans that you can use to help your students understand the subject. This chapter contains lesson plans on:

  • Why Europeans left for the Americas
  • Christopher Columbus and his discoveries
  • Mercantilism
  • The Triangle Trade

Each lesson plan included in the chapter is complemented by a lesson on that specific topic. These lessons can be helpful for fostering class discussions on these specific points.

How It Helps

  • Provides background: These lessons will teach you about the historical, economic and political background needed to understand European exploration and colonialism.
  • Emphasizes instruction: This chapter contains lesson plans on each of these topics, allowing you to teach this subject to your students more effectively.
  • Suggests activities: By providing you with some helpful suggestions for classroom activities, these lessons will allow your students to learn about this subject in a fun and interactive format.

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson plan outlines with relevant tools to make planning European exploration and colonization lessons easy.

  • Find lesson plans for specific exploration and colonization topics you want to cover in class.
  • Formulate your history class outline using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related history lessons for each lesson plan with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important historical concepts from the lessons.
  • Engage your students with relevant exploration and colonization-related activities, discussion questions or other materials found in the lesson plan outline.

43 Lessons in Chapter 7: European Exploration & Colonization Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Age of Exploration Lesson Plan

1. Age of Exploration Lesson Plan

You won't have to cross the ocean for good ideas on how to teach about the Age of Exploration with this lesson plan! Including resources from Study.com, this lesson will make sure your students understand the significance of the New World.

The Old World and New World: Why Europeans Sailed to the Americas

2. The Old World and New World: Why Europeans Sailed to the Americas

This lesson will focus on the Age of Exploration. It will explain the main reasons why Europeans explored the New World. It will highlight their spirit of adventure, the religious desire to see natives converted, and the chance to acquire wealth.

Christopher Columbus Lesson Plan

3. Christopher Columbus Lesson Plan

Use this Study.com lesson plan to teach your students about the impact that Christopher Columbus had on lives in the 15th century, as well as today. Examine his voyages and their effect on Spain and the natives in the New World.

Christopher Columbus' Discoveries: History & Summary

4. Christopher Columbus' Discoveries: History & Summary

Christopher Columbus is known the world over as 'the man who discovered America' despite the fact that he was not the first European to do so when he landed in the Americas in 1492. Learn about Christopher Columbus' voyages of 'discovery' in this lesson.

Christopher Columbus Activities

5. Christopher Columbus Activities

Christopher Columbus was an influential explorer. Do your students know why we celebrate his life and work? These activities will help to acquaint them with his life and accomplishments.

Latin American Colonization Lesson Plan

6. Latin American Colonization Lesson Plan

This lesson will review the reasons for Spanish colonization of Latin America and explore the impact that colonization had on the native people of Latin America through the creation and presentation of skits.

European Exploration & Colonization in Latin America

7. European Exploration & Colonization in Latin America

Starting in 1492, the arrival of Europeans in present-day Latin America irrevocably changed the region's history. This lesson examines the impact of European colonization, technology, and disease on the region.

Colonial Mercantilism: Definition, History & Effects

8. Colonial Mercantilism: Definition, History & Effects

Mercantilism was a major economic theory in Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries. In this lesson, we learn its four basic rules and the effects of mercantilism on history.

Aztec Lesson Plan

9. Aztec Lesson Plan

Teach your students about the Aztec Empire with this Study.com lesson plan. Students learn the rise and fall of the Aztec people and examine cultures. Students then apply concepts with a hands-on activity that demonstrates understanding.

The Aztecs: Civilization & Culture

10. The Aztecs: Civilization & Culture

A mythical origin, an intricate political and social system, impressive accomplishments, bloodthirsty gods, and a violent clash of two cultures - watch this video to learn more about the interesting history of the Aztecs!

Columbian Exchange Lesson Plan

11. Columbian Exchange Lesson Plan

Students may know the jingle 'In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,' but do they really understand how important this voyage was to world history? In this lesson plan, you'll show them the impact of the Columbian Exchange.

The Columbian Exchange

12. The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange is a term used to denote the world-changing exchange of agricultural goods, slave labor, diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres that occurred after the year 1492 CE.

The Spanish Armada Lesson Plan

13. The Spanish Armada Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will give you important discussion questions, topics, a quiz, and an activity that will help students understand the Spanish Armada and its place in history.

The Spanish Armada: History and Major Battles

14. The Spanish Armada: History and Major Battles

In this lesson, we will study the famous Spanish Armada and its attempt to invade England in 1588. We will discuss the Armada's background, preparation, voyage, and ultimate fate.

Ferdinand Magellan Lesson Plan

15. Ferdinand Magellan Lesson Plan

Help your students explore Ferdinand Magellan with this lesson plan. Start off by reading a text lesson about Ferdinand Magellan's life, voyages and legacy, view a timeline of his explorations, then apply learning to a fun activity.

Ferdinand Magellan: Biography, Facts & Timeline

16. Ferdinand Magellan: Biography, Facts & Timeline

In this lesson you will learn about Ferdinand Magellan, the first European to sail west into the Pacific and the first to lead an expedition that circled the globe. When you're finished, take the quiz to see what you've learned.

First Global Age Lesson Plan

17. First Global Age Lesson Plan

What was the First Global Age and how did it impact the world? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to explain important facts about the First Global Age

Foundations of European Dominance in the First Global Age

18. Foundations of European Dominance in the First Global Age

In this lesson, we will examine the factors that contributed to European dominance in the First Global Age. We will identify and analyze the characteristics and components that allowed European culture to spread throughout the world.

Spanish Explorers Lesson Plan

19. Spanish Explorers Lesson Plan

Teach your students about explorers from Spain with this lesson plan. Students will watch an informational video explaining who the Spanish explorers were and their significance as well as describing the encomienda system and purpose. Discussion questions, hands-on learning, and a quiz mean learning lasts.

New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

20. New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

Who are the most well-known explorers and conquistadors of the New World? In this lesson, we'll look at some of the most infamous explorers. We'll discover the difference between explorers and conquistadors, and then learn about the encomienda system.

Waldseemuller Map Lesson Plan

21. Waldseemuller Map Lesson Plan

What in the world is a Waldseemuller Map? This lesson plan teaches students the history and significance of the Waldseemuller Map through a text lesson, discussion questions and a hands-on map drawing activity.

Waldseemuller Map: Definition & Significance

22. Waldseemuller Map: Definition & Significance

Most people know that Columbus thought he had found Asia, but that Europeans eventually realized it was a new continent. In this lesson, we'll examine the document that defined this change in attitudes and literally re-drew the map of the world.

Treaty of Tordesillas Lesson Plan

23. Treaty of Tordesillas Lesson Plan

Teachers, this lesson explores the Treaty of Tordesillas. Students will complete a reading activity, participate in discussion questions and a debate. They will also take a quiz to demonstrate learning.

Treaty of Tordesillas: Definition & Overview

24. Treaty of Tordesillas: Definition & Overview

Learn about the Treaty of Tordesillas, which divided the non-Christian world between the Spanish (Americas) and the Portuguese (Africa and India) at a time when they were the most powerful kingdoms in the world.

Conquistador Lesson Plan

25. Conquistador Lesson Plan

This lesson plan uses activities, an extension activity, quizzes, and discussion questions to help your students learn about various Conquistadors and their accomplishments.

Famous Spanish Conquistadors

26. Famous Spanish Conquistadors

The conquistadors are controversial historical figures who paved the way for the modern Americas, but ruthlessly conquered indigenous groups. This lesson focuses on the most iconic Spanish conquistadors and their role in establishing European colonies in the Americas.

Conquistadores: Spanish Conquests of South & Central America

27. Conquistadores: Spanish Conquests of South & Central America

In this lesson, we will study the Spanish conquistadores who marched through the New World and helped to establish Spain's empire. We will focus especially on the conquistadores of South and Central America.

Marco Polo Lesson Plan

28. Marco Polo Lesson Plan

This lesson plan uses a mini-activity, a large activity, two quizzes, and discussion questions to help your students learn about Marco Polo and his travels.

Who was Marco Polo? - Biography, Facts & Timeline

29. Who was Marco Polo? - Biography, Facts & Timeline

Learn all about Marco Polo, the famous Venetian who lived in the Mongolian Empire for 24 years and later wrote about his experiences. Then take the quiz and see how much you remember about this medieval world traveler.

Amerigo Vespucci Lesson Plan

30. Amerigo Vespucci Lesson Plan

In this lesson we help our students learn about Amerigo Vespucci and to understand why 'the Americas' carry that name. We also help our students to learn a bit more about other explorers of the period.

Amerigo Vespucci: Biography, Facts & Voyages

31. Amerigo Vespucci: Biography, Facts & Voyages

Today I'll be talking about Amerigo Vespucci, a cartographer who sailed to America and helped improve the navigation of his time. Vespucci also lent his name to the Americas.

Age of Discovery Lesson Plan

32. Age of Discovery Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to introduce students to the Age of Discovery. Students will watch a video lesson, discuss new information and reinforce old and further explore a famous explorer through a role-playing activity.

The Age of Discovery: Timeline & Explorers

33. The Age of Discovery: Timeline & Explorers

In this lesson, we will examine what is commonly called the Age of Discovery. We learn what it was and when it was, and we will look at some of the important explorers who lived during this dynamic time.

The Mayflower Lesson Plan for Elementary School

34. The Mayflower Lesson Plan for Elementary School

What was the Mayflower and why is it important in American history? A text lesson list key facts about the Mayflower for students. An activity reinforces the physical features of the ship for the class.

Mayflower Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

35. Mayflower Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

Have you ever sat down for a huge Thanksgiving dinner and wondered how this tradition began? In this lesson, we'll learn about the Mayflower, the boat that Pilgrims traveled to America on.

French Colonies in America Lesson Plan

36. French Colonies in America Lesson Plan

Students will learn about French explorations in modern day Canada and Louisiana, as well as their trading relationship with Native Americans. They will watch a video, participate in discussion questions, complete an activity and take a quiz.

Christopher Columbus & Native Americans Lesson Plan

37. Christopher Columbus & Native Americans Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about Christopher Columbus & Native Americans. Students will be able to explain the positive and negative consequences of European colonization for the Native American population.

Puritans & the Founding of New England Lesson Plan

38. Puritans & the Founding of New England Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers teach their students about the Puritans and the New England colonies. Students will compare the lifestyle of the Pilgrims to the Puritans and learn about the expansion of the colonies.

New Spain Lesson Plan

39. New Spain Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about Spanish exploration and conquests of the Americas. They will be introduced to the racial hierarchy system of the colonies and begin to explore life in New Spain.

The Age of Exploration Activities for High School

40. The Age of Exploration Activities for High School

In your high school history class, you will likely teach about the Age of Exploration. This lesson contains engaging activities to help your students learn more about this time in history.

Mercantilism Lesson Plan

41. Mercantilism Lesson Plan

Teaching about mercantilism doesn't have to be tough. Study.com simplifies the process with a clear and informative video lesson that directly connects with students. A small group activity allows students to apply what they've learned.

Amerigo Vespucci Activities

42. Amerigo Vespucci Activities

When teaching the Age of Exploration, you are bound to cover the travels of Amerigo Vespucci. This resource contains activity ideas for middle and high school students who are studying this famous explorer.

Age of Exploration Project Ideas

43. Age of Exploration Project Ideas

The Age of Exploration had substantial impacts on the history of the world. These projects can help your students delve deeper into this material and engage with it in new ways.

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