Adult Ed
Discovery of the New World I



By using thematic and content- and genre-based approaches in the GED classroom and integrating them with more traditional test-taking practices, students will develop the firm conceptual framework they will need, not only to pass the GED, but to further their educational pursuits. The following social studies reading activities will focus on the period of European conquest and early settlement of North America. The activities will help students to develop a deep knowledge of a targeted content area rather than simply foster test-taking skills. As students engage in in-depth study of a selected content area, they will develop a grasp of concepts and forms of analysis specific to that discipline.


A PEOPLE'S HISTORY, by Howard Zinn; a text with a traditional account of the discovery of America such as THE COLUMBIA HISTORY OF THE WORLD; two or three news articles from two different newspapers covering the same event or topic; a map of the world with names of countries and states blanked out and xeroxed copies of same for students to work with; newsprint; an account of the same period written at a hi/low level, from a text such as THE STORY OF THE USA: EXPLORERS AND SETTLERS (Cambridge: Educators Publishing Service, 1992).


Students will:
  • Learn about the effect of "discovery" of the Americas upon the indigenous peoples
  • Compare and contrast the beliefs and values of the Europeans and the Indians/Native American peoples
  • Develop a clear understanding of the sequence of events, beginning in 1492 and extending through the early 16th century, which led to the subjugation/conquest of indigenous peoples