Unit Introduction: The Discovery of America

We start off the year by looking at what our continent was like before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, and at how European colonization started to change the lives of the people who lived here and the people who moved here. Our Big Question for the unit is:

How do conflicting ideas change the way people live?

As we move through the unit, we’ll look at some of the earliest American civilizations, such as the Incas and the Aztecs, research what life was like for the first European colonizers and the Native Americans they encountered. And we’ll also start to analyze the relationships between the colonists in America and the European powers on whose behalf they settled the “New World.” For our Mastery Project, we’ll come up with a play or script that imagine what the Native Americans and the European colonists thought about each other when they first arrived.

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