Vasco da Gama

Unit Overview

Intro Lesson Plans


Marco Polo

B. Dias

V. da Gama


A. Vespucci



Northwest Passage

Ponce de Leon



Jeopardy Review



Lesson Plan 10
(Dias and de Gama are taught together)

         Fifth Grade/Reading
Unit Goal:
       Students will use the features of informational texts to find information and support understanding as well as learn and use new vocabulary.
Objective 3.5: 
After reading page 23 in The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy and Giulio Maestro, and page 114 in Social Studies: Building a Nation by Scott Foresman, students will work in table groups to fill out the Comparing Routes worksheet on Dias and Da Gama.

       ~The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy and Giulio Maestro
         ~Social Studies: Building a Nation by Scott Foresman
         ~Comparing Routes worksheet

A. Anticipatory set
         Read page 23 in, The Discovery of the Americas, and page 114 in, Social Studies: Building a Nation.  These pages will help the students grasp the importance of Dias, and Da Gama’s explorations.
B. Teaching
         During the reading, stop periodically to discuss Dias and da Gama’s explorations.  It is wise to have some background knowledge on the explorers.  The assigned reading is a basic overview of their journeys, and does not give enough information for the students.  The text should prompt some good questions from the students, so allow time Q and A.
C. Group Application
         Pass out the worksheet to each student.  As a class, fill out the worksheet.  You will need to write information about both explorers on the sheet; ask for volunteers to help you come up with complete sentences.
Once everything is written down, have the students draw Dias, and da Gama’s route on the worksheet’s map.  Discuss with them how different the two routes are.  Ask them why it only took da Gama 1 year to get from Portugal to India when it took Marco Polo 3 years to get from Venice to China.  (This will reinforce the lessons from the prior week on land travel verses sea travel.)
Have the students turn to their World Map in their Explorer Books.  You should have just gone over Dias and da Gama’s routes while working on the worksheet, so drawing the two routes on the World Map should not be a problem.  While they are drawing the routes in their Explorer Books, you should be adding them to the Wall Map.

D. Closure

         The worksheets need to be cut out and added to their Explorer Books on page 6.  Have them cut around the black solid line on the worksheet.  They will then need to cut the map away from the section with writing on it.  The writing section will need to be glued down below Marco Polo’s worksheet on page 6.  The map showing the two routes will then be glued to the top of the writing creating a flipbook. (The map will hide the writing.)
         Tomorrow before moving on to Columbus, add Dias and da Gama to the accordion timeline.  Take a moment to reiterate the information from this lesson.
Meeting Varying Needs:
         You will be using an overhead to write on when filling out the worksheet as a class.  The students will be given plenty of time to discuss and write down their responses.  
         Walk around class when you are reading the texts at the beginning of the lesson to check for comprehension and understanding.  You will stop often to discuss what was read and to answer questions.  Questions that are on topic mean they are interested and listening!