Who were the first Europeans to step foot in the New World? What were they hoping to find? And what impact did their arrival have on the people already living there? Rob Cuddi uses essential questions like these to teach his fifth-grade students about the early explorers in North America.
Mr. Cuddi begins by asking guiding questions about the relationship between the early explorers and the Native Americans. The class then divides into small groups to research and answer the questions and plan their presentations. Mr. Cuddi and his students develop a rubric that will be used in evaluating the presentations. Then each group introduces an explorer and answers the essential questions using skits, poetry, and other literary devices they've been studying in English class. As the lesson concludes, students summarize important facts about each explorer and post their findings on a class data chart.