Amerigo Vespucci

Unit Overview

Intro Lesson Plans


Marco Polo

B. Dias

V. da Gama


A. Vespucci



Northwest Passage

Ponce de Leon



Jeopardy Review



Lesson Plan 13

       Fifth Grade/History
Unit Goal:
       Students will understand the impact of early exploration and how individuals changed or significantly influenced the course of history.
Objective 1.6: 
After reading page 33 in The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy and Giulio Maestro, students will understand that America was named by accident after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci.  The students will participate in an activity that will allow them to rename America after other explorers. 

         ~The Discovery of the Americas by Betsy and Giulio Maestro
         ~Give America a New Name worksheet (found in the appendix under Explorer Book)
         ~Butcher paper for writing the students ideas on

A. Anticipatory set
         The students need to add Columbus to the Wall Map and their timelines.  Recap with the students key points about Columbus.  His explorations to the “New World” lead up to where Amerigo Vespucci comes into play. 
B. Teaching
         Read page 33 in The Discovery of the Americas, and discuss with the class what they think about America being named after Amerigo Vespucci on accident.  Ask them if they think it should have been named after someone else.  Or even another group of people. 
C. Independent Application        
Pass out the worksheet, Give America a New Name.  Read the directions to the students carefully.  Answering the questions in complete sentences is the main assessment tool for this lesson.  Students will need to tell you who America should have been named after, what the new name should be, and then write a paragraph with at least 4 sentences to the President trying to convince him to change the name.
Encourage your students to be creative and original.  Grading is not done on the name they come up with, but rather that they completed the worksheet following the directions stated.
D. Closure
         With the remaining time left, have volunteers share with the class their letter to the President.  As the new names are listed, write them down on butcher paper so you can hang it up in the classroom.  Under each new name, write the explorer, or group of explorers that the name originated from.
         Have students glue this worksheet in their Explorer Books on page 8.
Meeting Varying Needs:
         You shouldl be available to help dictate for some of the students.  These students are the ones who need to focus on the content rather than the writing itself.  This is an activity that every student can participate in, and you can be confident they can meet the requirements.
         Students will be assessed on their individual writing.  They have to complete the worksheet in complete sentences, which include a capital at the beginning of every sentence, and some type of punctuation at the end.