Focus: Exploring and Moving to America delves into the sweeping story of America, including the voyages of Columbus, the settlement of the Pilgrims, the struggle for independence, and the sorrowful history of slavery.
Students learn about Columbus and why he sailed across the Atlantic to an unfamiliar world. What was the world like in 1492? Why didn’t Columbus and his fellow Europeans know about the Americas? And who was there to greet them when they arrived? Students then hear about the Pilgrims and the difficult voyage of the Mayflower through the eyes of Elizabeth, a young Pilgrim girl. They explore the hardships of the first year of the colony and meet Squanto and other Native Americans, who helped the Pilgrims plant and harvest crops, a kindness that led to a celebration we now think of as the first Thanksgiving.
Students then journey along the road to American independence. They see the beginnings of unrest over unfair treatment by the British, meet George Washington, and learn about the Declaration of Independence and why we celebrate America’s birthday on the Fourth of July.
Exploring and Moving to America’s nine chapters provide a broad, age-appropriate introduction to the ideals of the American experiment, celebrating the spirit and bravery of the nation’s original settlers, and give a straightforward but gentle introduction to the tragic treatment of indigenous peoples and enslaved people on American soil.
Additional Search Terms: social studies • geography • nonfiction • informational text • trade • spices • the Indies • King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella • Taino • Plymouth • pumpkin • turkey • King George III • Africa • enslaved people • rights
CKHG Grade Levels: CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades K-2 are appropriate for students in the lower elementary grades. The Student Book (available in English and Spanish) is intended to be read aloud by the teacher as the students look at images on each page.
We have intentionally left the pacing and timing needed to teach the content presented in the Teacher Guide and Student Book very flexible. Teachers can choose how much they read aloud and discuss in a single instructional period, as well as how often each week they use the CKHG materials.