Early Explorer's Program

(Georgia and South Carolina Standards listed below)

After the Spanish claimed discovery of the "New World" by Columbus, the race was on and the "Age of Discovery" was born. Every major European power of the era was an eager participant in the search for untold riches and glory. From the early Spanish exploration of DeSoto, Cortes, and Ponce DeLeon, to the search for the Northwest passage by Henry Hudson; this presentation is related to the audience in retrospect from the perspective of a settler of the Jamestown Colony in the newly claimed English territory of Virginia.

Together with a colorful narrative constructed from first-hand accounts of the daily lives of the Jamestown settlers, this program also introduces the audience to the difficulties faced by our earliest English ancestors. From droughts and famine to encounters with strange native people with bizarre customs. Recent discoveries have added a new dimension to our understanding of our nation’s history. A collection of everyday 17th century items will also give the opportunity for "hands-on" holding of the items by the students or audience.

*Although there is a segment on navigation, astronomy, and geometry, it regretfully does not cover any specific mathematical standards to date.

Georgia Standards: 

Grade Three:
SS3H1 Describe early American Indian cultures and their development in North America.
a. Locate the regions where American Indians settled in North America: Arctic, Northwest Southwest, Plains, Northeast, and Southeast.
b. Compare and contrast how American Indians in each region used their environment to obtain food, clothing, and shelter.

SS3H2 Describe European exploration in North America.
a. Describe the reasons for and obstacles to the exploration of North America.
b. Describe the accomplishments of: John Cabot (England), Vasco Núñez de Balboa (Spain), Hernando de Soto (Spain), Christopher Columbus (Spain), Henry Hudson (The Netherlands), and Jacques Cartier (France).
c. Describe examples of cooperation and conflict between European explorers and American Indians.

SS3G2 Locate and describe the equator, prime meridian, and lines of latitude and longitude on a globe.

SS3G3 Describe how physical systems affect human systems.
a. Explain why American Indian groups occupied the areas they did (SS3H1a), with emphasis on why some developed permanent villages and others did not.
b. Describe how the early explorers (SS3H2a) adapted, or failed to adapt, to the various physical environments in which they traveled.
c. Explain how the physical geography of the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern colonies helped determine economic activities.

Grade Eight:
SS8H1 Evaluate the impact of European exploration and settlement on American Indians in Georgia.
a. Describe the characteristics of American Indians living in Georgia at the time of European contact; to include culture, food, weapons/tools, and shelter.
b. Explain reasons for European exploration and settlement of North America, with emphasis on the interests of the Spanish and British in the Southeastern area.
c. Evaluate the impact of Spanish contact on American Indians, including the explorations of Hernando DeSoto and the establishment of Spanish missions along the barrier islands

Grade 9 - 12:
SSUSH1 The student will describe European settlement in North America during the 17th century.
a. Explain Virginia’s development; include the Virginia Company, tobacco cultivation, relationships with Native Americans such as Powhatan, development of the House of Burgesses, Bacon’s Rebellion, and the development of slavery.
b. Describe the settlement of New England; include religious reasons, relations with Native Americans (e.g., King Phillip’s War), the establishment of town meetings and development of a legislature, religious tensions that led to colonies such as Rhode Island, the half-way covenant, Salem Witch Trials, and the loss of the Massachusetts charter.
c. Explain the development of the mid-Atlantic colonies; include the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam and subsequent English takeover, and the settlement of Pennsylvania.

South Carolina Studies


Standard 3-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the exploration and settlement of South Carolina.

3-2.1 Compare the culture, governance, and physical environment of the major Native American tribal groups of South Carolina, including the Cherokee, Catawba, and Yemassee.

3-2.2 Summarize the motives, activities, and accomplishments of the exploration of South Carolina by the Spanish, French, and English.

3-2.3 Describe the initial contact, cooperation, and conflict between the Native Americans and European settlers in South Carolina.

3-2.4 Summarize the development of the Carolina colony under the Lords Proprietors and the royal colonial government, including settlement by and trade with the people of Barbados and the influence of other immigrant groups.

3-2.5 Explain the role of Africans in developing the culture and economy of South Carolina, including the growth of the slave trade; slave contributions to the plantation economy; the daily lives of the enslaved people; the development of the Gullah culture; and their resistance to slavery.


Standard 4-1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of political, economic, and geographic reasons for the exploration of the New World.

4-1.3 Explain the political, economic, and technological factors that led to the exploration of the new world by Spain, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, and England, including the competition between nations, the expansion of international trade, and the technological advances in shipbuilding and navigation.

4-1.4 Summarize the accomplishments of the Vikings and the Portuguese, Spanish, English, and French explorers, including Leif Eriksson, Columbus, Hernando de Soto, Magellan, Henry Hudson, John Cabot, and La Salle.

Standard 6-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the changing political, social, and economic cultures in Africa and the Americas.
6-4.3 Compare the contributions and the decline of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations in Central and South America, including their forms of government and their contributions in mathematics, astronomy, and architecture.

6-4.4 Explain the contributions, features, and rise and fall of the North American ancestors of the numerous Native American tribes, including the Adena, Hopewell, Pueblo, and Mississippian cultures.

Standard 6-6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Age of Exploration on Europe and the rest of the world.
6-6.4 Compare the economic, political, and religious incentives of the various European countries to explore and settle new lands.

6-6.5 Identify the origin and destinations of the voyages of major European explorers.

6-6.6 Explain the effects of the exchange of plants, animals, diseases, and technology throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas (known as the Columbian Exchange).

Standard 8-1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the settlement of South Carolina and the United States by Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.

8-1.1 Summarize the collective and individual aspects of the Native American culture of the Eastern Woodlands tribal group, including the Catawba, Cherokee, and Yemassee.

8-1.2 Compare the motives, activities, and accomplishments of the exploration of South Carolina and North America by the Spanish, French, and English.

8-1.3 Summarize the history of English settlement in New England, the mid-Atlantic region, and the South, with an emphasis on South Carolina as an example of a distinctly southern colony.