Third Grade - American History - Lesson 10 - The Search for the Northwest Passage

Objectives
List and justify what qualities were needed to be an explorer.
Locate and discuss the Northwest Passage.

Materials
Globe
Classroom-size world map

Suggested Books

Student Title
Maestro, Betsy and Guilio Maestro. Exploration and Conquest: The America's After Columbus: 1500-1620. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994.

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of European exploration after Columbus up to the 17th century and includes descriptions of the expeditions of Cabot, Verrazano, and Cartier.

Teacher Reference
Lomask, Milton. Great Lives: Exploration. New York: Atheneum, 1988.
Poole, Frederick King. Early Exploration of North America. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989.

Procedure

Tell the students that after having studied the Spanish explorers Ponce de Leon, de Soto, and Coronado, you would like them to think about the qualities it took to be an explorer. Tell them to keep in mind that the explorers oftentimes traveled long distances to places where they had no idea of what they would find. Have the students brainstorm a list of qualities and write each of them on the chalkboard. You may wish to add some of your own if the students do not mention them, such as: adventurous, courageous/brave, curious, intelligent, greedy. Ask the students to justify the qualities on the list. For example, an explorer would have to be brave because he was traveling to unknown places where they didn't know what they would find.

Ask: What country did the explorers Ponce de Leon, de Soto, and Coronado originally come from? (Spain) Have a student locate the country of Spain on the classroom map. Ask: What continent is the country of Spain part of? (Europe) What were the Spanish explorers looking for during their expeditions to North America? (land for Spain, riches, spread European culture)

Tell the students that the next group of explorers they are going to study also came from Europe, but were looking for something different than the Spanish explorers in North America. Instead of looking for riches in North America, the explorers who are going to be studied next were looking for a shortcut to Asia by going west across the Atlantic Ocean. This shortcut was called the Northwest Passage. Other explorers had found routes to Asia by land (across Europe into Asia) and by water (around Africa and east to Asia). Ask: Why do you think explorers were interested in going to Asia? Explain to the students that there was a high demand for products found in Asia: spices, silk, jewels.

Tell the students that large profits were made by merchants and traders involved in the spice trade. Asian merchants sold spices to middlemen from the Middle East, who then transported and sold the spices to traders in western Europe, who sold the spices to Europeans. Draw a diagram on the chalkboard showing this chain of events. The Asian goods that werefinally sold in Europe were very expensive because of the various people the goods went through before being sold in Europe. Explain that the European explorers wanted to find a way to be a part of this profitable trade by getting the spices, silks, and jewels from Asia themselves. Add to the diagram on the board to show which part of the chain the explorers wished to take over by finding a direct route to Asia.

Direct the students' attention to a globe or classroom world map. Do you see a way to get from Europe to Asia going northwest by boat through North America. Call on volunteers to trace with their fingers possible routes. Explain that you can trace a difficult route by water around the islands in northern Canada and finally coming out by Alaska and across the Pacific Ocean to Asia. Ask: What would be some of the difficulties that an explorer traveling in this area so far north might encounter? Direct the students to consider the climate in this part of the world. Ask: Would you expect this part of the world to be warm or cold? (cold) Explain that year round these waters are clogged with ice. Ask: Does this look like it would be an easy trip or a difficult one? a short trip or a long one?

Optional Activity

Tell the students that two of the spices that were transported from Asia during this time were cinnamon and pepper. Tell the students that cinnamon was found in China and pepper was found in India. Have two volunteers locate each of these countries on a world map. Ask: Are these spices that are used often today? Have the students work in pairs to compose a list of three foods that are made with cinnamon or on which cinnamon is put and three foods on which they would put pepper. You may wish to have the students draw pictures of the foods they choose or provide magazines out of which the students could cut pictures of the foods.

Third Grade - American History - Lesson 11 - John Cabot

Objectives
Recognize the importance of John Cabot's voyage in search of Asia.
Map Cabot's exploration route.

Materials
Classroom-size world map
Map of Cabot's route (included) - make into an overhead transparency
1 per student
Map ditto (included)

Suggested Books

Student Title
Fritz, Jean. Around the World in a Hundred Years: From Henry the Navigator to Magellan. New York: Scholastic, 1994.
Jean Fritz gives an entertaining account on pp. 63-67 of John Cabot's adventures.
Goodnough, David. John Cabot & Son. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1979.
This picture book tells about the travels of John Cabot and his son, Sebastian. The simple text is accompanied by black and white drawings.

Teacher Reference
Lomask, Milton. Great Lives: Exploration. New York: Atheneum, 1988.
Poole, Frederick King. Early Exploration of North America. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989.

Procedure

Review with the students why explorers were interested in finding a northwestern route to Asia. Tell the students that the explorers wanted to travel to Asia to bring back goods, and in addition they also wanted to claim land for the countries that paid for their trip. Explain that these sea voyages required large amounts of money. Ask: Why do you think the trips were expensive? (They needed money to pay for ships, supplies, and crew members.) Few explorers had enough money to fund their trips themselves, so they had to persuade or convince a wealthy person to support their ideas.

Ask the students to brainstorm answers to the following question: Since the trip through the Northwest Passage would have been a very long trip, what supplies do you think the crew would have needed? (food that wouldn't spoil, drinking water, clothing, bedding, weapons, medicine, a smaller boat to go from the ship to land)

Tell the students that John Cabot was one of the explorers who believed that it would be possible to travel to Asia by going west across the Atlantic Ocean. Explain that Cabot believed that if he were to travel west from England there would be a short stretch of water between Europe and Asia, so he thought that he would be able to bring spices and silk from Asia by traveling directly across the ocean from Asia to Europe. Direct the students' attention to the classroom world map. Ask: Knowing what we do today about the geography of the world, would it have been possible for Cabot to travel directly across the Atlantic Ocean to Asia? (no) Why not? (The continents of North and South America were in the way.) Relate the following information to the students:

Although born in Italy, John Cabot approached the King of England to pay for his trip and the King agreed. Years earlier the king, King Henry VII, had turned down Christopher Columbus' request to pay for his trip to look for a western route to Asia. The king did not want to miss out this time on a chance to claim new lands for England, so he agreed to sponsor John Cabot's trip in 1497, five years after Christopher Columbus' famous journey. Cabot left from England, sailed around the southern coast of Ireland, and headed into the northern Atlantic Ocean. (Show the students this route on the map.) Five weeks later Cabot and his crew spotted land. Ask: Where do you think the crew thought they had arrived? (China, Japan) When Cabot and his crew came ashore they did not see any people or animals, but they did find animal traps and the remains of campfires so they knew that there were people who lived there. Cabot actually landed on the island of Newfoundland off the coast of Canada. (Show the students Newfoundland on the map.) Write Newfoundland on the chalkboard. Tell the students Cabot gave this place its name. Ask: Why do you think Cabot called this place Newfoundland. (If the students don't break the name down themselves point out that the name can be broken down into new found land.) Cabot thought that he had arrived on an island off the coast of Asia, so he sailed back to England to inform the king of his discovery. The king was very happy and agreed to pay for another trip. For Cabot's second trip he was given five ships instead of just one. Cabot and his crew didn't make it back from this trip. It is not known if he ever made it back to the land he found or if his ships went down during the trip across.

Give each student a world map. Tell the students that we are going to record the routes of the explorers that we study this month starting with Cabot. Display an overhead transparency of the map marked with Cabot's route. Have the students copy his route onto their maps. Ask: What was important about Cabot's first trip in search of Asia? (He gave England a claim to land in North America, he thought he had discovered a new route to Asia, he won the support of the king for another trip) Collect and save the maps for the next lesson.

Third Grade - American History - Lesson 12 - Jacques Cartier

Objectives
Map Cartier's exploration route.
Compare Cartier's route to Cabot's route.
Locate Canada, the St. Lawrence River, Quebec, and Montreal on a world map.

Materials
Student maps from Lesson 11
Overhead of transparency of map showing Cartier's travel route

Suggested Books
Student Title
Maestro, Betsy and Guilio Maestro. Exploration and Conquest: The America's After Columbus: 1500-1620. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994.
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of European exploration after Columbus up to the 17th century and includes descriptions of the expeditions of Cabot, Verrazano, and Cartier.

Teacher Reference
Lomask, Milton. Great Lives: Exploration. New York: Atheneum, 1988.
Poole, Frederick King. Early Exploration of North America. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989.

Procedure

Ask: What was the Northwest Passage? (a shortcut to Asia from Europe traveling west across the Atlantic) Why would the discovery of such a route have been important? (Countries in Europe would be able to trade directly with parts of Asia.) When Cabot sighted land on his first trip across the Atlantic, where did he believe he had arrived? (Asia)

Tell the students that because Cabot returned to England reporting that he had reached an island off the coast of Asia, other countries were interested in exploring the possibility of a Northwest Passage to Asia. Explain that France hired an Italian explorer named Giovanni Verrazano. Verrazano sailed with two ships across the Atlantic and came to shore about where North Carolina is today and traveled up the eastern seaboard in search of the Northwest Passage. Verrazano traveled all the way up to Newfoundland and then headed east back to France. Show the students his route on a map. When Verrazano returned to France he spread the news that he was convinced that the land he had found was a part of a new world and not just part of Asia. Ask: How do you think he came to the conclusion that the land he discovered was a new world and not part of Asia?

Tell the students that after Verrazano's trip, in addition to being interested in a Northwest Passage, the King of France became interested in starting a French colony in the far north of the new land that Verrazano found. The man the king hired to send back to the northern area of what is now North America was Jacques Cartier.

Explain that Cartier made a total of three voyages to the area that is now Canada. On his first voyage he traveled to Newfoundland, which he claimed for France. Show the students his route on the map. Ask: What other explorer traveled to Newfoundland in search of a passage to Asia? (Cabot) What country did Cabot claim the area of Newfoundland for? (England) Since Cartier claimed the land for France and Cabot claimed the land for England, what problems do you think might occur in the future between England and France? (They both think they have a claim to the same area, so they fight over who has a right to the land.)

Tell the students that during his first trip, Cartier met Native Americans from the Huron tribe. The Hurons were friendly and helpful, and a few became guides for Cartier and his men. During his second trip, Cartier traveled inland up a river, which he named the St. Lawrence River. Show the students the St. Lawrence River on a map. Cartier traveled up the St. Lawrence to a Huron village. Cartier called the area Mount Royal and today Canada's largest city, Montreal is located there. Locate Montreal on the map for the students.

Display a transparency of Cartier's route. Tell the students the line represents the places Cartier traveled to during his expeditions Give each student their map from lesson 11 and have them draw the line on their own map. Have the students compare Cartier's route to Cabot's route. Ask: What similarities do you see? What differences do you see?

Third Grade - American History - Lesson 13 - Henry Hudson

Objectives
Locate the geographical features named after Henry Hudson--the Hudson River, Hudson Bay.
Sequence the events of Hudson's life.

Material
Classroom-size world map

Suggested Books
Student Reference
Asimov, Isaac. Henry Hudson: Arctic Explorer and North American Adventurer. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1991.

Teacher Reference
Hakim, Joy. The First Americans: A History of US. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Hirsch, E. D. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
Langley, Andrew. Twenty Explorers. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1990.

Procedure

Review with the students that both Cartier and Cabot claimed what would later become part of Canada for two different countries. Ask: What country did Cartier claim land for? (France) Cabot? (England)

Tell the students that many explorers after Cartier and Cabot did the same thing. Explain that since the area known today as the country of Canada is very large, the second largest country in the world, it was hard for explorers to know that other explorers had already claimed land in this area. To clarify you may wish to use the following example: If two people were standing on opposites sides of the same hill, they could both see the hill, but not necessarily see each other. Therefore, they both might claim the same hill for him/herself without knowing that the other person had done the same thing. Ask: Would both explorers have a right to claim the hill? How could they decide whose hill it was? Explain that this example is similar to the reason that different explorers sometimes claimed the same areas of land. They did not necessarily know that the land had already been claimed for another country.

Tell the students that another explorer, Henry Hudson, traveled to what is today Canada in the early 1600s, one hundred years after John Cabot's first trip to Newfoundland. Hudson also believed there was a way to travel by boat from Europe through the waters above North America to Asia. He began searching for the Northwest Passage in 1607.

Read page 83 from What Your Third Grader Needs to Know by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. aloud to the students or relay the following information: Henry Hudson made several trips in search of the Northwest Passage. On his first two trips, Hudson tried to sail through the northern waters above Canada to find a passageway to Asia. He was not successful because his path was blocked by ice and he was forced to go back to England both times. On his third trip, Hudson sailed for the Netherlands. This time Hudson sailed across the Atlantic to the northern coast of North America. During this trip, Hudson discovered a waterway that he thought was the Northwest Passage, but was instead a river. The river was named after him and is still know today as the Hudson River. (Show Hudson's route on the classroom map. Locate the Hudson River on the map to show that it is located in what is today the state of New York.) On his fourth trip, Hudson again headed to the north Atlantic coast of North America. This time he found another waterway which led to a huge bay, now called Hudson Bay. (Show Hudson's route on the classroom map. Locate Hudson Bay on the map.) Hudson and his crew explored the bay thinking they had finally found the Northwest Passage. As winter set in they became iced in and were forced to spend the winter at the southern end of the bay. When the boat was finally freed from the ice, Hudson wanted to continue to explore, but his crew did not. The crew mutinied, which means they refused to obey Hudson's orders, and set Hudson, his son, and crew members that were still loyal to Hudson afloat in a small boat without oars or food, leaving them to die.

Ask: What two bodies of water were named after Henry Hudson? (the Hudson River, and Hudson Bay) Why were the Hudson River and Hudson Bay named after Henry Hudson? (Because he discovered both bodies of water.) Other explorers had places they traveled to or bodies of water they discovered named after them. One explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, even had two continents named after him. Ask: What continents do you think were named after Amerigo? (North and South America) Have a student locate both continents on the classroom world map.

Tell the students that Amerigo Vespucci was a traveler and a writer. He traveled to the New World and wrote about the places he visited and the things he saw, so his name became associated with this newly discovered land. A mapmaker who printed a world map included a new continent and across the southern part he wrote AMERICA, since Amerigo had written about this place. Tell the students that Vespucci traveled to the new world five years after Christopher Columbus, but Columbus thought he had arrived near Asia, not to a new place that had not been discovered. Ask: Suppose the continents had been named for Columbus, what would they have been called?

You may wish to read pages 85-86 of The First Americans: A History of US by Joy Hakim aloud to the class. She gives an entertaining account of how Vespucci's name came to be associated with North and South America.
 


Bibliography

Student Titles
Goodnough, David. John Cabot & Son. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1979. (0-89375-172-3)
Maestro, Betsy and Guilio Maestro. Exploration and Conquest: The America's After Columbus: 1500-1620. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994. (0-688-09268-3)

Student Reference
Asimov, Isaac. Henry Hudson: Arctic Explorer and North American Adventurer. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1991. (0-8368-0558-5)

Teacher Reference
Hakim, Joy. The First Americans: A History of US. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.(0-669-36832-6)
Hirsch, E. D. What You Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31257-1)
Langley, Andrew. Twenty Explorers. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1990. (1-85435-252-0)
Lomask, Milton. Great Lives: Exploration. New York: Atheneum, 1988. (0-684-18511-3)
Poole, Frederick King. Early Exploration of North America. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989. (0-531-10683-7)