Library Digital Content Access

European Explorers

Created By: John M. Kirkpatrick, Edison Middle School (Champaign, IL)
Grade Level: 7th
Content Area: Social Studies
Database Integration: Students will search the TDC database for information regarding the European explorer's lives, voyages, and/or inventions.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

16.A.3c: Identify the differences between historical fact and interpretation. Students will create a Microsoft Word Document and/or a PowerPoint slide show that interprets the importance of European exploration.
16.B.3d (W): Describe the political effects of European exploration and expansion on the Americas, Asia, and Africa after 1500 CE. Students will create a Microsoft Word Document and/or a PowerPoint slide show that interprets the impact of European exploration.
17.A.3a: Explain how people use geographic markers and boundaries to analyze and navigate the Earth. (e.g., hemispheres, meridians, continents, bodies of water) Students will explain the significance and importance of their explorer's invention(s) or voyage(s) along with a map of the voyage or picture of the invention.


Across the Centuries textbook, computer lab, Microsoft Word, Internet Access, Library Access, Access to a Projector, Scanner and/or Digital Camera would be an option


  1. Students Read chapter 14 "The Age of Exploration" in Across the Centuries, pp 362-391.
  2. Students are given written instructions for project:
    • a. Select one of the explorers from Chapter 14 in your textbook.
    • b. Include a picture of your explorer.
    • c. Write a brief sketch or your explorer including:
      • i. biographical information
      • ii. importance of your explorer's voyage or invention
      • iii. description of explorer's route or invention
    • d. Include a map of your explorer's important voyage or discovery.
    • e. You may wish to include extras, such as a border for your document.
  3. Students research topic and save important information on their computer.
  4. Students construct a Microsoft Word Document and/or a PowerPoint slide show.
  5. Using a projector, students present their documents and/or PowerPoint slide shows to the class.


Students will be assessed based upon a teacher-created rubric that is presented to the students and discussed at the start of the project.