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November 9, 2012

Explorer Book


Our Social Studies text only has one lesson to discuss the explorers, 
and that just wasn't good enough for me. So, instead my class does a little (big) book for their writing assignment throughout the week. 

We learn about Juan Cabrillo, Francis Drake, and Sabastian Vizcaino.

I gave them a 3 column sheet and we use Wikipedia to gather notes about them. After they write down facts, they are then in charge of writing a paragraph about each explorer. They then have to write an introductory and conclusion paragraph using these questions.

Introductory Paragraph - 
What challenges did the explorers face?
(Information from our S.S. text)

Conclusion Paragraph - 
How would life be different if the explorers had not discovered CA?
(More their own wonderings)

When they aren't writing, we complete guided draws of the 
explorers' portraits and create a map of the routes they took.  I love guided draws because it works on those important "following directions" skills.  
Plus it's fun.

So, when it is all put together the book looks like this.


Introductory Paragraph

Cabrillo Portrait
Cabrillo Paragraph

Drake Portrait
Drake Paragraph

Vizcaino Portrait
Vizcaino Paragraph

Conclusion Paragraph

Routes map
Notes Page

Yes, a 10 page booklet.  They look great!

I'm linking up with Amanda's Friday Flashback!



  1. what a great way to learn about explorers! Don't you just love how our text books have one short little paragraph to cover a major standard?? I'm like you and always have my students do further research.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

    1. It drives me nuts how they have one lesson about Native Californians and another one on Explorers... then 5 about Missions. So much good stuff in History that needs to be remembered.

  2. What an excellent idea! I love taking an exciting topic or subject and letting the students delve deeper in with a project.

    I found you through the Friday Flashback linky party - I'm your newest follower!

    Stop by sometime :)

    Joy in the Journey

  3. Thanks for linking up, Emily! Love your Explorers Book! What a meaningful learning project for your students. Hope to have you link up again next week. ;)

    Teaching Maddeness


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