Grade: Elementary

#4095. Explorers

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Jan 27 19:49:25 PST 2008 by Erin Winchester (
Six Mile Elementary, Six Mile, SC USA
Materials Required: Laptops or Computers with Internet Access
Activity Time: 50 minutes
Concepts Taught: Internet Research of Explorers

Title of Lesson: Explorers
Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: 4th

Objective: The student will be able to summarize the motivation and accomplishments of the Vikings and the Portuguese, Spanish, English, and French explorers, including Leif Eriksson, Christopher Columbus, Hernando de Soto, Ferdinand Magellan, Henry Hudson, John Cabot, and Robert LaSalle

Standards: 4-1.2

Materials/Preparation: The students will need access to laptops or computers with Internet access.

*Introductory Activity:
1. The students will brainstorm facts that they know about explorers. They will be given 5 minutes to write as many facts as possible.
2. The class will make a collective list of facts from all students.
*Main Activity:
1. Groups will be assigned an explorer (Leif Eriksson, Christopher Columbus, Hernando de Soto, Ferdinand Magellan, Henry Hudson, John Cabot, or Robert LaSalle).
2. Groups will use Google and Wikipedia to research the explorers.
3. The groups should record in their Ship's Log the country of the explorer, the years of exploration, and the explorer's claim to fame.
4. Members of each group will type their information onto the class Ship's Log on the Promethean Board for other classmates to copy.
5. Each group will practice a skit to help their classmates remember each explorer.
1. Groups will present their skit along with the information about their explorer for others to copy in their Ship's Log.

Assessment: The students will be assessed on their participation during the research phase of the lesson. They will also be assessed on their participation during the skits and presentations.

Adaptations: For LD or slower learners, small groups could participate in a Web Quest concerning a particular explorer.

Follow-up Lessons/Activities: The teacher could expand the lesson by assigning specific explorers from the lesson and have the students research at home or during computer time. The students could then create a flipchart about their explorer to present to the class.