Explorers and Native Americans

We just recently began a new unit on Native and Americans and Explorers. We have had to integrate the unit with Guided Reading since our Guided Reading block has been consumed by RIT groups (leveled focus groups) based on the grade level MAP scores.

According to SC state standards, students are required to know and compare the culture, governance, and location of the three major Native American tribes in SC - The Cherokee, Catawba, and Yemassee. We read information about each tribe and highlighted information regarding the culture, governance, and location of each tribe and transferred it into a flipbook.

On the back of the flipbook, we made a map of SC and labeled the location of the three tribes. We came up with a symbol to represent and help us remember each one. The Cherokee invented their own written language, so many students drew letters. The Catawba were well known for making pottery, so several kids chose to draw pots. You get the idea...

This week, we have been focusing on reasons why explorers came to the new world. I came up with an acronym to help the kids remember the five major reasons why explorers came:



If you would like copies of the flipcharts I used for this unit, please click HERE!

We are learning about the 5 major explorers to come through SC, what country they came from, why they came, and what they did while they were here. We have been getting into reading groups to read the information sheet on each explorer. We highlight information that we are looking for and then transfer it to our Explorer Graphic Organizer.

If you would like any of the resources I have discussed today, please email me!

How do you teach explorers and Native Americans?


  1. I don't get to teach social studies, but I'm glad that SOMEONE in this country is giving it its' proper due! It seems that so often social studies gets dropped by the wayside in favor of Language Arts and Math, you know?

  2. It's my favorite thing to teach and we just don't have the time to give it its proper due, which is really sad because it is actually one of the students' favorite subjects. That is one reason I have been trying to integrate it with Reading more interesting. It's hard to do that though this year because my kids are soooo low in reading. They can't read half of the words!

  3. I know! I love love love social studies too, and there's so much cool stuff you could do with it. I think teacher training programs should emphasize it more -- many of the teachers I know just rely on textbook/workbook. Sad!

  4. I am teaching 3rd grade for the first time in SC and would love to see your Explorer's graphic organizers and information sheets. My email is laurahowden611@gmail.com. I love your blog and have gotten so many great ideas from you! Thank you for sharing!


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