Early American Explorers Unit

Unit studies have been a wonderful method of multi-age learning in our homeschool You can fit in so much goodness in such a nice chunk of time!

Learning about Early American Explorers is extra fun when you use living literature!

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Early American Explorers Resources

In our late elementary/early middle school quest to learn Early American History this year, we began by studying the Early American Explorers.  I used a book from titled Who Discovered America? as the spine.  It provided information, notebooking pages and activity ideas.  This book is no longer be in print, but Evan-Moor’s History Pockets: Explorers of North America looks to be similar – and possibly even better.

Who Discovered America?History Pockets: Explorers of North America, Grades 4-6+


As usual, literature was a large part of our study.  The following books were read as a family and covered many, many explorers of North America.  Living literature is so special in the way it places you right in the setting of the time period.  The view of history becomes so rich that way!

Leif the LuckyExplorers Who Got LostExploration and Conquest: The Americas After Columbus: 1500-1620 (American Story)


While we didn’t use the everything from Explorers of the New World (because some of it was about earlier explorers like Marco Polo), there were several chapters that were very pertinent to our study.  We loved completing several of the hands-on projects!

Explorers of the New World: Discover the Golden Age of Exploration With 22 Projects (Build It Yourself)


Living Historical Fiction

Each of the kiddos had an independent reading selection during the unit, too.  Caleb read Encounter, by Jane Yolen.  Admittedly, Jane Yolen’s opinionated books typically have to be taken with a grain of salt.  With that in mind, the book tells the story of Christopher Columbus from a Native American point of view.  Her perspective was very thought-provoking and provided great discussion/writing topics.

Encounter (Voyager Books)


Mahayla read The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster.  Each chapter was followed by narration and discussion.

World of Columbus and Sons


The entire study took us about a month to complete.  Unlike most unit studies where we complete end-of-unit projects, this study just transitioned right into a fun Native American unit study.

Tell me…what are your favorite resources for teaching about explorers?

Other Great Unit Studies:



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