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Chapter 1: 1491-1607 Inquiry Organizer

📎 Inquiry Organizer Summary of chapter objectives and resources
📖 Chapter Introductory Essay In-depth overview of significant events in the time period
🔎 Narratives Shorter essays on a dramatic story or individual
📍 Decision Points Narratives that describe a pivotal decision in history
💬 Point-Counterpoints Differing sides of an argument presented by scholars or historical figures
✒️ Primary Sources Firsthand accounts from the time period
📝 Lessons Instructions and handouts to engage students in the classroom
✏️ Unit Essay Activity Culminating essay based on AP LEQs to assess chapter objectives
Unit 1: Chapter 1 (1491-1607)
Compelling Question: How did the collision of cultures create a “New World”?
Chapter Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain the development of the systems of exchange of resources, goods, and peoples between Europe, Africa, and the Americas that developed due to European exploration of the Atlantic world.
  • Students will be able to evaluate the social, cultural, geographic, economic, and political impact of European contact with Native Americans and the Americas.
Supporting Question 1: What were the social, political, and economic structures of American peoples before the arrival of Europeans? Resources:

  • Question Formulation Technique (QFT): Map of 1491 vs. 1754 Lesson
  • Native People Narrative
  • The Oral Tradition of the Foundation of the Iroquois Confederacy Primary Source
  • Watercolors of Algonquin Peoples in North Carolina, 1585 Primary Source
Supporting Question 2:What motivated and enabled Europeans to begin exploring the globe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries? Resources:

  • Richard Hakluyt and the Case for Undertaking Sea Voyages Lesson
  • Hernando de Soto Narrative
  • Columbus’s Letter to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, 1494 Primary Source
  • Should We Remember Christopher Columbus as a Conqueror or Explorer? Point-Counterpoint
  • Henry Hudson and Exploration Narrative
Supporting Question 3: What was the initial contact between Europeans and native peoples like? Resources:

  • First Contacts Narrative
  • Paideia Seminar: Christopher Columbus Lesson
  • Montezuma and Cortés Decision Point
  • Cortés’s Account of Tenochtitlan, 1522 Primary Source
  • Columbian Exchange Narrative
  • The Florentine Codex, c. 1585 Primary Source
Supporting Question 4: How did the contact between Europeans and native peoples affect Europe, Africa, and the Americas? Resources:

  • Origins of the Slave Trade Narrative
  • Life in the Spanish Colonies Narrative
  • Las Casas on the Destruction of the Indies, 1552 Primary Source
  • Writing Practice: Building Thesis Statements Lesson
Additional Resources:

  • Chapter 1 Introductory Essay: 1491-1607
Unit 1 Essay Activity: How did the collision of cultures create a “New World”? Option A: Compare and contrast British and Spanish imperial goals in the New World between 1491 and 1763. Europeans believed they discovered an entirely new place when they encountered the diverse inhabitants of North and South America. Contact between the hemispheres began a long process of exchange in people, goods, customs, language, religion, and disease. Each group’s political, economic, and social structures felt the effects of this exchange, sometimes with devastating consequences. Through this inquiry, students will evaluate primary and secondary sources to assess how contact between Europeans and native peoples forever affected European and American civilizations. Assess students’ progress in understanding the compelling question for this chapter by assigning the Unit 1 Essay Activity.

Some components of this resource may contain terminology that is no longer used because the terms are recognized to be offensive or derogatory, and some components may contain images that would be considered offensive or derogatory today. These terms and images have been retained in their original usage in order to present them accurately in their historical context for student learning, including understanding why these are not acceptable today.