About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our AP U.S. History Homeschool Curriculum course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about first contacts. There is no faster or easier way to learn about early contacts between Old World and New World peoples.. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about pre-Columbian, Incan, Mesoamerican and Native American civilizations.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need a history curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and a First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE) unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE) Unit Objectives:
- Discover the origins of American Indian cultures.
- Explore contemporary Central American, Mexican and South American societies.
- Learn what was unique to North American society before the European colonists arrived.
- Discuss the reasons behind European exploration and the effects of colonization.
- Describe the distinctive social qualities of Spanish colonies.
- Understand the long-term impact of the Old World on the New World.
1. Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas
Because the first humans and civilizations got their start in Africa and the Middle East, historians and anthropologists have had to figure out how Native Americans got to the Americas. In this lesson we look at the three prevailing theories of the earliest migration to the New World.
2. Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes
This lesson focuses on the early cultures of Mesoamerica. The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs developed great civilizations in Mesoamerica over millennia. Then, after all of this development and the building of a great empire, the Aztec were quickly defeated by Hernando Cortes.
3. The Inca Civilization and Pizarro: Pre-Columbian South America
The Incan Empire was an amazing empire of the early Americas. Their accomplishments rival those of many other great empires, but they were defeated by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in only a few years.
4. Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans
Watch this video for an overview of the cultural groups of Native Americans as they lived at the time of first contact with Europeans. Some of these groupings, like the tribes of the plains, changed so much due to the addition of European influences, such as horses, that there is only conjecture as to how exactly they lived before European contact.
5. Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans
The earliest explorers in the Western Hemisphere left a legacy that would shape the development of the Americas permanently. No matter what they came looking for, Europeans left behind death, horses, and metal.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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Other chapters within the AP US History: Homeschool Curriculum course
- Settling North America (1497-1732): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Road to Revolution (1700-1774): Homeschool Curriculum
- The American Revolution (1775-1783): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Making of a New Nation (1776-1800): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Virginia Dynasty (1801--1825): Homeschool Curriculum
- Jacksonian Democracy (1825 -- 1850): Homeschool Curriculum
- Life in Antebellum America (1807-1861): Homeschool Curriculum
- Manifest Destiny (1806-1855): Homeschool Curriculum
- Sectional Crisis (1850-1861): Homeschool Curriculum
- American Civil War (1861-1865): Homeschool Curriculum
- Reconstruction (1865-1877): Homeschool Curriculum
- Industrialization and Urbanization (1870-1900): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Progressive Era (1900-1917): Homeschool Curriculum
- American Imperialism (1890-1919): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Roaring 20s (1920-1929): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Great Depression (1929-1940): Homeschool Curriculum
- The US in World War ll (1941-1945): Homeschool Curriculum
- Post-War World (1946-1959): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Cold War (1950-1973): Homeschool Curriculum
- Protests, Activism and Civil Disobedience (1954-1973): Homeschool Curriculum
- The 1970s (1969-1979): Homeschool Curriculum
- The Rise of Political Conservatism (1980-1992): Homeschool Curriculum
- Contemporary America (1992-2013): Homeschool Curriculum
- Changes in the Modern United States: Homeschool Curriculum
- Test-Taking Skills and Prep - AP U.S. History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Critical Thinking Skills for AP US History: Homeschool Curriculum
- How to Write a Good Essay on Your AP US History Exam: Homeschool Curriculum
- Developing and Writing Your AP US History Exam Essay: Homeschool Curriculum