Unit Plan: Impact of Colonization of America

William M. Hopper

December 19, 2016


1.  Unit Description (page 3)

2.  Pre-Unit Thinking (p. 4-5)

3.  Overview of Unit and Lessons (p. 6-7)

4.  Unit Evaluation: Summary (p. 8)

5.  References and Resources (p. 9)

Lessons Section

6.  Lesson #1: “Hello, New World” (p. 10)

7.  Lesson #4:  “Colonial Economics” (p. 11)


Unit Description and Learning Focus

This history unit will teach students important concepts about the colonization of America by the Europeans.  Students will understand the rationale and motivation for colonization for individuals and nations.  Students will be able to describe the impact of geography, agriculture, trade, and industry on the colonies.  Students will analyze the foundation of colonial government and culture in relation to the homeland.  The unit will help students understand the growth of the European settlements in the Americas.  They will also be able to make connections with colonial foundations to present day societies in North America.  Students will be able to explain how the structure of the home countries influenced the development of the colonies.  


There are several reasons for choosing this unit.  First, it is part of our textbook curriculum.  Secondly, the unit covers information that is vital to the understanding of the foundational history of our country and other nations on this continent.  The third reason for choosing this unit is that it provides opportunities to develop several types of skills.

Instructional Design Theory

I attempted to use the ASSURE development model in designing this unit.  The ASSURE model starts with consideration of the learners with learning and skill objectives.  It also places more emphasis on using technology and available resources throughout the unit’s instruction while focusing on direct learner participation.  The ASSURE method is linear and calls for evaluation and possible revision after the unit.


School Profile

The school is a small Christian school founded in 1979 by the local First Baptist church.  The school currently has approximately 50 students from Kindergarten to twelfth grade.  A majority of students are from upper-middle class conservative Christian families with a few students able to go through support of local churches.  The school is located in a rural area and the closest cities are about 45 minutes away.  Financial support comes from various funds from founding church, private donations, and tuition fees (approximately $2000 per student).  Because of the size of the school, classes are combined levels.  For example, a combined 11th and 12th grade class will take US History one year and take Government/Economics the next year.  The school has computers in every classroom, a computer lab in the library, and Wi-Fi access.

Previous Teaching of Content and Possible New Approach

The content of this unit has been taught in a very traditional manner in the past.  Students would take notes, read assigned texts, and take a test over the unit.  Students also made PowerPoint presentations and wrote essays.

The content could be taught differently by focusing on more student participation.  The unit design could allow students to discover and create more information on their own.  Also, students could be encouraged to use the internet and digital tools.

Learner analysis

There are fifteen students in the classroom.  The level of students is mixed with some prepping for college and others just looking to graduate. The students range from 16-18 and are a about a 50/50 mix of boys and girls.  The majority of the class members are from middle class to upper middle class families.  There are a couple lower middle-class students.  They all come from a Christian evangelical background (primarily Baptist).  The students are all from rural communities that are primarily white. There is one student from the Philippines who was adopted by a white family, and one student who is of Anglo-Mexican descent.  Most students come from strong family backgrounds, and a couple do come from divorced single-parent households.  Several have excellent reading and verbal skills while a couple are below average in those areas.  Most have basic understanding of digital and internet tools.  A couple students exceed in digital and internet usage and often help others with difficult aspects of those tools.

Media and Technology Possibilities

Students can access the internet and use PowerPoint with computers at the computer lab.  The classroom is equipped with a projector, which can present presentations from the internet or from a digital creation from a computer file.  Students all have access to computers and internet at home.  Students have the means to conduct any number of digital and online learning activities.  Also, their access to computer and the internet at home and at the school allows them to complete collaborative digital/online projects.  Assessment can also use the work they have done through various digital projects rather than a regular test.

Resources and Constraints

As mentioned previously, the students and the teacher have access to computers, the internet, and digital resources.  However, only several students have laptops that they are able to bring to school.  Also, the use of cell phones is discouraged in the classrooms.  The unit is somewhat constrained to follow the school’s approved curriculum text, but the teacher is able to use outside material if needed.


*Lesson One: “Hello, New World”



Lesson Two: “Major Players”



Lesson Three: “The English 13”



*Lesson Four: “Colonial Economics”



Lesson Five: “How They Lived”



Lesson Six: “Religion in the Colonies”



Explanation of Instructional Design

  The ASSURE model influenced the strategies in this unit in that it was guided by objectives and sought to use media and resources in conjunction with the text to encourage student learning.  Nearly every lesson involved digital skills and student creation.  Lessons required students to participate and apply knowledge to a task.


This unit is designed to help students achieve academic knowledge and digital skills.  By the end of the unit, students will have an understanding of why Europeans colonized the Americas, the economic and cultural impact of the colonization, the impact on colonization today, and how the colonial foundations formed the nations of today.  Students will also develop skills in research, blending information, collaborative work, and creation of digital and online presentations.


Animito.com. https://animoto.com/

Atlas of colonialism. (2016). from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Atlas_of_colonialism

Compare the motives behind the colonization efforts of the Spanish, French, English, and Dutch; and explain how and why colonies established by these nations differed. Retrieved from https://quizlet.com/14305925/compare-the-motives-behind-the-colonization-efforts-of-the-spanish-french-english-and-dutch-and-explain-how-and-why-colonies-established-by-these-nations-differed-flash-cards/

Impacts of the Reformation. (2011). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y ZZaLfA6xao  

Impacts of the Renaissance. (20111). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 9oMivVcnPik

Keesee, T, and Sidwell, M. (1993). United States History for Christian schools.  Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press


Prezi.com. https://prezi.com 

Significance of the Great Awakening: Roots of Revolution.  (2016). from http://www.great-awakening.com/roots-of-revolution/

Shambaugh, N and Magliaro, S. (2006). Instructional design: A systematic approach for reflective practice.  Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Wiki classroom. https://www.wikispaces.com/content/classroom



LESSON # 1: “Hello, New World: What Motivated Europeans to Settle in America”

Lesson objectives:  

List reasons for European colonization of America.  Explain influence of Reformation and Renaissance on European expansion.  Analyze differences and similarities for European nation’s exploration.  Describe economic and trade concerns that influenced exploration and settlement.  Use online digital platform to present information from this lesson.

Illinois State Standards:  .

SS.G.3.9-12: Analyze and explain how humans impact and interact with the environment and vice versa. SS.G.4.9-12: Evaluate how political and economic decisions have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and region SS.H.1.9-12: Evaluate how historical developments were shaped by time and place as well as broader historical contexts. SS.H.2.9-12. Analyze change and continuity within and across historical eras.

Lesson Content

  “Basic Ideas about the world in 2016”:  Have class brainstorm about ideas and beliefs that we consider a fundamental part of our society today. Put ideas on whiteboard.  Focus on ideas that go back to Renaissance and Reformation..

1. Give students two column handout divided with Renaissance and Reformation

2.  Watch videos from YouTube discussing impact of Renaissance and Reformation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 9oMivVcnPik and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y ZZaLfA6xao

3.  Read from textbook about the Reformation.

          4.  Show students the nation states and religious differences that came from Reformation and Renaissance.

  As students are watching videos point out important points and ideas that they should add to handout..  

Study information from Quizlet and participate on the sites review games (https://quizlet.com/14305925/compare-the-motives-behind-the-colonization-efforts-of-the-spanish-french-english-and-dutch-and-explain-how-and-why-colonies-established-by-these-nations-differed-flash-cards/)

  Discuss ideas from videos and Quizlet.  Preview assessment assignment.

Create internet poster with Prezi or PowerPoint about one of the colonial nations.

           1.  Nation and major religion.

           2.  List at least three motivations for exploration and settlement.

          3.  List at least three obstacles or hindrances the nation faced in establishing its colony.

LESSON # 4: “Colonial Economics”

Lesson objectives:  

Understanding the importance of agriculture, industry, and trade in economic development of the colonies.  Know the major food and cash crops of the colonies.  Analyze the impact of colonial industries on the New and Old Worlds

Illinois State Standards:  .

SS.G.3.9-12: Analyze and explain how humans impact and interact with the environment and vice versa. SS.G.4.9-12: Evaluate how political and economic decisions have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and region SS.H.1.9-12: Evaluate how historical developments were shaped by time and place as well as broader historical contexts. SS.H.2.9-12. Analyze change and continuity within and across historical eras.

Lesson Content

  “Can of Corn”:  Hold up can of corn.  Ask students to brainstorm all parts of the process that placed that can of corn on the store shelf.  Relate this to crops needed for the colonies.

1. Watch video from YouTube describing the colonial economy and relationship with European homeland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of2dXiwVDTs.  

          2.  Show students chart on PowerPoint illustrating the various colonial industries and crops.

  Students will get copies of the chart.  Divide into groups and list important information from the text about each category.  I will walk around to each group making sure they are putting down relevant information or guide them to possible answers.  

Using information from the book and video we watched students should write a short essay or draw a chart describing the triangular trade.

  Have students share positive and negative aspects of colonial economy on the colonies and the home country.

Create digital presentation of student’s choice to describe the following:

           1.  Three major crops and industries.

           2.  Benefits of crops/industries on colonies and homelands.

          3.  Negative aspects of crops/industries on colonies and homeland.