Lesson Plan

The Columbian Exchange

Setting Sail for the New World

NPS Photo/VIP Ciprinani

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade
American Indian History and Culture, Colonial History, Hispanic or Latino American History and Culture, History
One 1 hr. 15 minute lesson or may be broken by activity.
Group Size:
Up to 24


Students will synthize the quote and picture to determine symbolizism and understanding of Spanish exploration.  Students will understand the importance of the Columbian Exchange and the role that it had on colonization of the New World by reading about the Columbian Exchange and dramatizing the point in history by exploring different the point of view.


The students will understand the importance of the Columbian Exchange and how the movement of people, animals, plants, cultures and disease effected the Eastern and Western hemisphere. Students will also understand how the arrival of Europeans changed Native American's lives.


Teacher should know that although Columbus was an Italian explorer it was under Spain's rulers, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, that his journey west was funded.

Although gold and silver was not found in Florida other precious commodities were. Spices, dyes and control of the land proved to be just as valuable. The territory of Florida and in particular, St Augustine became very important to the Spanish to protect their trade route back to Spain.

When the Native Americans became ill, Africans were brought to St. Augustine to help
complete the Castillo.



Teachers may use the skit as an assessment of the student's understanding of how the
Columbian Exchanged impacted the trade between the Native American, European Explorers, and colonists.

Park Connections

The Castillo exists because of the need to protect the the Spanish trade route from the New World back to Spain.The affects of colonization were felt by the Native Americans, such as the Timucua that inhabited Florida.

Additional Resources

Common Core Standards:


W1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts,supporting a point of view with reasons.

Reading Informational:

Key Ideas and Details:

RI 1 Quoting accurately from text when explaining what the text says and when drawing inferences from text.

RI 2 Determine main idea from text and how it is supported by key details.

Craft and Structure:

RI 4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in the text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

RI 7 Interpret information presented visually, orally or quantitatively and explain how the information contributes to an
understanding of the text.

Social Studies NGSSS

SS.4.A.1.1 Use primary and secondary sources to identify significant individuals and events throughout Florida history.

SS.4.A.1.2 Synthesize information related to Florida history through print and electronic media.

SS.4.A.3.2 Identify the significance of St. Augustine as the oldest permanent European settlement in the United States.

SS.5.A.1.1 Use primary and secondary sources to understand history

SS.5.A.2.2 Identify Native American tribes from different geographic regions.

SS.5.A.2.3 Compare cultural aspects of Native American tribes from different geographic regions of North America.

SS.5.A.3.2 Investigate (nationality, sponsoring country, motives, dates and routes of travel, accomplishments) the
European explorers.

SS.5.A.3.3 Describe interactions among Native Americans, Africans, English, French, Dutch and Spanish for control of North



Columbian Exchange, epidemic, devastation, exchange, economy, import, export

Last updated: January 8, 2018