Unit 2: Discovery of America

EQ: How should we characterize Columbus and his legacy? Should we celebrate Columbus Day?

Content: Students will learn about the background conditions in Europe that led to its “Age of Exploration” and to Columbus’s voyages along with their impacts, both short term and long term.

Purpose: Reading and analyzing primary and textbook sources, constructing an argument.

Assessments: Writing assignments explaining the Columbian Exchange as well as a final essay arguing how we should characterize Columbus and his legacy.

Additional Materials for the Discovery of America Unit

Day 10 (16) (10/28, 10/29)

GQ: Why did European nations make colonies?

  1. Defined the term colony
  2. Brainstormed and identified reasons nations sought out the formation of colonies.
  3. Writing Lesson #2 on how to paraphrase.


Continue working on your essay.

Day 9 (15) (10/26, 10/27)

GQ: How can we improve the quality of our body paragraphs?

  1. Traded body paragraphs with other members of our table and analyzed, evaluated, and gave feedback to each other.
  2. Read a sample paragraph and did the same thing.
  3. Received the Final Assignment Sheet for the essay along with the rubric.
  4. Discussed at our tables and as a class our ideas about our EQ


Work on your essays.

Day 8 (14) (10/22, 10/23)

  1. Analyzed and evaluated paragraphs from previous night’s homework.
  2. Looked at examples of topic sentences and compared them to our own topic sentence
  3. Took our homework paragraphs and mapped them on to the paragraph planning page.
  4. Identified topics for body paragraphs that we could use in our essays


  1. If you didn’t finish moving the paragraph you wrote for homework over to the paragraph planning page, please finish that.
  2. Once you’re done taking that paragraph over to the planning page, work on rewriting that paragraph. Make sure you keep in mind the work we did on topic sentences while doing this.
  3. Use the extra planning page to plan out another body paragraph and then write it.
  4. Optional: The first few pages of chapter 18 and all of chapter 22 are worth reading to give you more information about the future of Spanish colonization in the Americas. These chapters may give you more info. They’re worth reading if you choose but not mandatory and you don’t have to annotate them.

Doing 1-3 on this list should take you up to an hour.

Day 7 (13) (10/20, 10/21)

GQ: Should the effects of Spanish colonization be considered Columbus’s fault?

  1. Discussed questions about Las Casas’s writings and previous night’s homework.
  2. Added ideas to our charts based on previous night’s homework.
  3. Writing Lesson #1 on how to write body paragraphs.


  • Finish adding ideas from today’s work to your charts
  • Write a body paragraph that answers our EQ

Day 6 (12) (10/16, 10/19)

GQ: What were the causes and consequence of the Columbian Exchange?

  1. Discussed who the “winners” and “losers” were in the Columbian Exchange along with whether the event was inevitable.
  2. Identified cause and effect in the Columbian Exchange.
    Columbian Exchange Cause and Effect
  3. Started to read and annotate Las Casas Readings


Read, annotate, and answer questions on the handout.

Day 5 (11) (10/14, 10/15)

GQ: What were the long term effects of Columbus’s voyages?

  1. Shared with our partners and discussed the paragraphs we wrote about the Columbian Exchange
  2. Discussed questions that were raised from Columbus’s journals.
  3. Worked with partners to add ideas to our charts based on Chapter 17 and the Columbian Exchange work we just did.


Correct old charts and add new ideas to charts.

Day 4 (10) (10/9, 10/13)

GQ: What were the long term effects of Columbus’s voyages?

  1. Put our post its from chapter 17 on a Determining importance sheet and evaluated each other’s post its
  2. Worked in groups to make a list of the positive and negative long term effects of Columbus’s voyages based on chapter 17.
  3. Viewed a powerpoint presentation on the Columbian Exchange. Columbian Exchange
    ompleted a worksheet while viewing slides. Columbian Exchange Worksheet


  1. Finish answering questions on the worksheet including the paragraphs at the bottom.

Day 3 (9) (10/7, 10/8)

GQ: What do Columbus’s words tell us about his attitudes and ideas?

  1. Reviewed previous night’s homework and discussed Columbus’s journal entries.
  2. Identified key ideas from chapters 15 and 16.
  3. Worked to add ideas from chapters 15 and 16 to Essential Question charts




Finish adding ideas to charts

Read chapter 17. Write 3 determining importance post its.

Day 2 (8) (10/5, 10/6)

  1. Reviewed post its from previous night’s homework.
  2. Discussed and evaluated sample post its Post it reflection Sample
  3. Read over and gave feedback to partners on their post it Post it reflection
  4. Discussed at our tables our EQ and identified relevant information from chapters 15 and 16.


Read the Columbus Journal handout and answer the questions at the end


Day 1 (7) (10/1, 10/2)

  1. Briefly reviewed previous night’s homework.
  2. Discussed new Essential Question: How should we characterize Columbus and his legacy?
  3. Worked on procedures for using post its while annotating text


Read chapters 15 and 16. Write four determining importance post its total on the two chapters.



One Response to Unit 2: Discovery of America

  1. Pingback: Humanities HW 10/22 (7-3, 7-1 only) | Humanities 7

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