U.S. History Unit 1: Exploration of the Americas

tall ship

Learning GoalUse research and inquiry skills to analyze the causes, course, and consequences of British settlement in the American colonies using primary and secondary sources.


DBQ (Document Based Question) essay project Early Jamestown: Why Did so Many Colonists Die?, including these assignments:

  • Principle Powhatan and English Settlements
  • Background Essay Questions
  • Document A: Jamestown’s Environment
  • Doc. B: Rainfall in Jamestown
  • Doc. C: Occupation List of the First Settlers
  • Doc. D: Grain Trade With the Powhatans
  • Doc. E: Chronology of English Mortality


Students will read Chapter 3, Colonies Take Root (pp. 62-97) in the textbook, and complete the following pages in the Florida Student Guide Interactive Reading and Note Taking workbook:

  • pp. 30-31      The First English Settlements
  • pp. 33-34      The New England Colonies
  • pp. 36-37      The Middle Colonies
  • pp. 39-40      The Southern Colonies
  • pp. 42-43      The Spanish Colonies on the Borderlands


Middle Ages, Queen Isabella, King Ferdinand, Christopher Columbus, conquistador, Hernando Cortes, Francisco, Pizarro, Ferdinand Magellan, strait, tribute, plantation, mercantilism, Columbian Exchange, Northwest Passage, Henry Hudson, Protestant Reformation, Samuel de Champlain, Robert de La Salle, Virginia Company, John Smith, John Rolfe, Ponce de Leon, Pedro Menendez

charter, joint-stock company, burgesses, dissent, persecute, Puritan, Separatist, Pilgrim, Mayflower Compact, John Winthrop, Great Migration toleration, Roger Williams, pacifist, indentured servant, Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, constitution, debtor, tenant farmer, mission, subsistence farming, triangular trade, cash crop, diversity, Tidewater, backcountry, overseer, mercantilism, export, import, smuggling, charter colony, proprietary colony, royal colony, James Oglethorpe, Lord Baltimore, Bacon’s Rebellion, William Penn, King Phillip’s War, Anne Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay Colony, starving time, corn (maize), John Peter Zenger

Geography Vocabulary (Covered all year, not an individual unit):

absolute location, basin, bay, canyon, cape, channel, cliff, continent, cultural feature, delta, divide, downstream, elevation, Equator, glacier, gulf, harbor, highland, hill, island, isthmus, lake, latitude, longitude, lowland, map, meridian, mesa, mountain, mountain peak, mountain range, mouth, ocean, ocean current, parallel, peninsula, physical feature, plain, plateau, Prime Meridian, relief, river, sea, seacoast, sea level, sound, source, strait, tributary, upstream, valley, volcano, glacier, Beringia, culture, adobe, pueblo, culture area, igloo, kayak, tepee, travois, kiva, potlatch, long house, sachem