Ch 1: First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE): Homeschool Curriculum

About This Chapter

The First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE) unit of this AP U.S. History Homeschool Curriculum course is designed to help homeschooled students learn about early contacts between Old World and New World peoples. Parents can use the short videos to introduce topics, break up lessons and keep students engaged.

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.

7 Lessons in Chapter 1: First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE): Homeschool Curriculum
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Native American History: Origins of Early People in the Americas

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.

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

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.

The Inca Civilization and Pizarro: Pre-Columbian South America

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.

Pre-Columbian Civilization: North American Indians Before Europeans

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.

Effects of European Colonization: Christopher Columbus and Native Americans

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.

New Spain: Spanish Explorers and Spanish Colonies

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.

The Columbian Exchange

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the AP US History: Homeschool Curriculum course

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