Grade 3History and Geography

Focus: This unit (Unit 6 for schools using the CKHG series in Sequence grade-level order) focuses on Spanish explorers who crisscrossed the Americas in search of gold and riches, and other European explorers who searched for the Northwest Passage. After reviewing the explorations of Columbus, students learn about Ponce de León’s search for the Fountain of Youth, De Soto’s long march to the Mississippi, Coronado’s quest for cities of gold, the founding of St. Augustine, and the development of settlements around Spanish missions.

The focus then shifts to the explorers who undertook perilous voyages to find the Northwest Passage, a shortcut across North America to Asia, including John Cabot, Samuel de Champlain, and Henry Hudson. Throughout the unit students reinforce their map skills and geographic knowledge, and also learn about the interactions of the explorers with Native Americans, including Popé and the Pueblo Revolt.

Number of Lessons: 15

Lesson Time: 30 minutes each daily. Lessons may be combined into longer sessions.

Additional Search Terms: social studies • geography • map skills • nonfiction • informational text • Caribbean Sea • East Indies • West Indies • Puerto Rico • Cuba • Gulf of Mexico • Mississippi River • Grand Canyon • Rio Grande • “New France” • Quebec • Canada • St. Lawrence River • Great Lakes

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 3-5 are appropriate for young readers from the upper elementary grades through middle school.

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