Project # 1 Model of a Caravel

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Project # 1 Model of a Caravel

In this project students will focus on the first New World explorer’s mode of transportation, the Caravel. Research will need to be conducted on the history of this style of ship and what sets it apart from other vessels of the 15th and 16th century. Students will learn the unique qualities that make up this ship by building a scale model of a Caravel. Students will need to be able to share the following information with the class:

  1. Why were these first built?

  1. What makes them unique from other ships?

  1. What is the history of this type of ship?

Project # 2 Nationality Flag and Accomplishments

In this project students will need to choose from one of the many countries who participated in the Age of Exploration, by sending out explorers, and conduct research on the accomplishments of that countries exploration. Students will show their choice of country by creating a large flag and listing the following information on the back in order to share with the class:

Choose one of the following (British, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Vikings, Chinese)

  1. What did they discover?

  1. What was the purpose of their voyages?

  1. Who were some of their explorers?

Project # 3 Interviews with Explorers

Can be done with a partner

In this project students will select an explorer from the Age of Exploration and conduct research to discover details about the life and accomplishments of the explorer. After research is completed, students will generate 5 questions to ask the explorer that they can provide the answers to. Students will then use costumes and video recording equipment to film a live interview with the explorer that will be shown to the class to convey the following information:

  1. Where are they from?

  1. What is their background?

  1. What did they do that was important?

Project # 4 Model of Tenochtitlan/Manchu Picchu/Cahokia

In this project students will conduct research on one of the great cities of Tenochtitlan, Manchu Picchu, or Cahokia from the New World. Students will research the layout of the cities during their time of occupancy by the natives who built them. The research will then be used to build a scale model depicting the various features of the city. Students will need to be able to share the following with the class about the model:

  1. What are the various features of the city and what purpose did they serve?

  1. How does this city compare to the cities of Europe during the time?

Project # 5 Explorers Journal

In this project students will select an explorer from the Age of Exploration and conduct research to discover details about the life and accomplishments of the explorer. After research is completed, students will assume the role of the explorer by writing a series of journals from their travels. Writing in the first person of the explorer, the group will generate 8 journal entries with sketches that show what the explorer is seeing. The journals need to represent the following information:

  1. Where the explorer is from and their background?

  1. The country they are exploring for?

  1. What major discoveries/accomplishments did they make?

  1. What lasting impact did they have of the Age of Exploration?

Group #6 - Columbian Exchange Graph c:\documents and settings\chris.bottoms\local settings\temporary internet files\content.ie5\2y1zr9l6\mc900030044[1].wmf

The Columbian Exchange had a tremendous impact on both the New World and the Old World. This group will research how much of an impact the exchange had. By looking at the devastation of disease, the influx of precious metals to Europe, and the number of missions set up in the new world by the Spanish. You will then create a series of Bar graphs showing the information you collected. Be sure to list your sources at the bottom of each graph.

  1. Graph numbers of Native Americans that were killed off by disease after European Arrival

  2. Graph the amount of gold that the Europeans pulled out of the New World

  3. Graph the amount of Silver that the Europeans pulled out of the New World

  4. Graph the number of Missions created by the Spanish in the New World

Be able to give a clear opinion answering the question, which world was better served by the Columbian Exchange, the Old or New?

Group #7 - Photo Story/Power point of a Native American Culture

Aztec Inca Maya Powhatan

Students will research one of the Pre-Columbian cultures of Native Americans, and create a photo story or power point detailing their culture. You may choose any culture, not just the four pictured above. You will use Microsoft photo Story or power point to create your project. Photo story is a multimedia format that involves finding pictures and narration to tell the story of those pictures. You will need to write your information down, so you can effectively narrate your piece of the story. You should have a title/intro pic, followed by pics and narration for the part of the world they lived, their resources, their religion, cultural traits (how they lived), legends and myths, and their first contact with Europeans. Each member of the group should narrate a part of the story. If you choose PowerPoint, each member should present one of the slides detailed above.

  1. Choose a Native American culture that you want to focus on

  2. Research their background

  3. Include maps of the areas they inhabited

  4. Photos and information about their resources/religion/cultural traits/legends and myths/ and first contact with the Europeans

Project #8 Explorer Memorial

In this project, students will choose an explorer from the age of discovery (1400’s – 1600’s) and design a memorial to the explorer. Imagine the memorial is a miniature version of a memorial that would be placed in a city of the land the explorer discovered. Your group will research their background, explain their discoveries and accomplishments, and explain why they should be remembered.

  1. Choose an explorer

  2. Research their background

  3. Explain what their accomplishments and discoveries were

  4. Create a model of a memorial

Project # 9 Poster of Discovery

This group will choose a European power that sent explorers on voyages of discovery, and create an informational Poster of Discovery. You will need a large map that includes Europe and the New World, with the areas discovered labeled, icons for the resources taken from the Americas, and icons for the tribes they interacted with. You will present your posters to the class, discussing what this power explored during the age of discovery.

  1. Choose a country that sent out explorers

  2. Create a map (a large map) that includes Europe and the Americas

  3. Color in and label areas that this country discovered

  4. Show resources they were taking from the Americas

  5. Show tribes that they interacted with on your map

Project #10 Graphic Novel of a Conquest

In this project students will research one of the main conquests of Native Americans by the European powers. To help the students better understand the reason for the conquistador’s successes, they will have to research some of their tactics and compare them with the native populations’ technologies. The graphic novel will take the reader from the beginning of the expedition in Europe, through their conquest, and then concluding back in Europe. The graphic novel must include the following:

  1. Choose one of the following conquistadors: Francisco Pizarro, Hernan Cortes, or Pedro de Alvarado.

  2. At least 20 detailed and colored pictures with dialogue including the conquistador

  3. Major events of their conquest

  4. Outcomes of their life, and their impact on the native populations

Project #11 Exploration World Map


In this project students will create a world map on a piece of posterboard. The map will include at least twenty different voyages of discovery conducted during the Age of Exploration. Students will gain a better understanding of the vast resources each empire took to conduct these expeditions. To create a successful project, students must include:

  1. A detailed map of the world, colored and labeled with the Empires of Expedition (Spain, Portugal, England, France, Italy, the Netherlands)

  2. At least 20 expeditions color-coded to each country. Each will also include dates and names of significant people

  3. At least 5 hand-drawn pictures detailing some of the native tribes, or discoveries that were made.

Project #12 Weapons of the Explorers: Guns, Germs, and Steel


In this project students will be researching the variety of weaponry employed by the conquistadors. The weaponry includes guns (gunpowder), steel (swords and tools), and germs (smallpox et al). The students will then create a museum exhibit on one of these topics. The exhibits information should be organized on a poster board to be placed with an artifact that they create. The artifact should be created to detail one of the following: a gun of the conquistadors, a steel tool (sword or armor), or a diorama model of a person with small pox. A successful project will include the following:

  1. A detailed poster created to inform guests in a museum about the artifact you have created.

  2. A well-constructed, detailed artifact of one of the types listed above.

Project #13 Columbus Talk Show Debate

Can be done with a partner

file:christopher columbus .png

In this project students will discuss the debate over whether Christopher Columbus should be considered a hero, or a villain. Some historians state that Columbus should be considered as a successful man who helped to colonize and enrich the New World. Other historians assert that he was the biggest mass-murderer of all time. Students will research both sides of this story and create debate between two historians hosted by a moderator. A successful project will include the following:

  1. Written, and detailed research about both sides of this argument

  2. A concise summary of each arguments strong points and weaknesses

  3. A display of the debate, either as a presentation, or in video format.

  4. A final, written editorial describing what your group believes should be the general opinion of Columbus.

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