K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Old portrait of Hernando de Soto
Old portrait of Hernando de Soto
This engraving of Hernando de Soto, created in 1791, depicts the explorer in his armor, with his left hand on the handle of his sword.
Format: image/illustration
Discovery of the Mississippi
Discovery of the Mississippi
William H. Powell's painting, Discovery of the Mississippi, depicts Hernando de Soto's encounter with the Mississippi River in 1541. De Soto was the first European to view the river. In the painting, de Soto appears in armor on a white horse,...
Format: image/painting
De Soto in America
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 3.4
In this lesson for grades 5-8, students will evaluate the effectiveness of the De Soto expedition through the interior of the southeastern United States in the years 1539-1543. They will examine the impact of that trip on the Native Americans. Students will engage in historical empathy as they put themselves in the place of the Native Americans and the Spanish soldiers who encountered them on the expedition.
Format: lesson plan
By Pauline S. Johnson.
The De Soto expedition
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 3.3
Hernando De Soto’s expedition through the southeastern United States in 1539–43 was one of the earliest of the early contacts between Europeans and native peoples. While historical documents tell the story of do Soto's journey, advances in both history and archaeology have enabled researchers to reconstruct the de Soto route.
Format: article/primary source
Introduction
More than 9,000 years ago, the first humans arrived in what is now North Carolina. Their ancestors had migrated from Asia to North America about 12,000 years ago across a land bridge that had emerged when, during the last Ice Age, glaciers froze the oceans...
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Two worlds: Educator's guide
Lesson plans and activities to be used with "Two Worlds: Prehistory, Contact, and the Lost Colony" -- the first part of a North Carolina history textbook for secondary students.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Understanding the Columbian Exchange
In Two worlds: Educator's guide, page 5.1
This lesson will help students think about the effects of the Columbian Exchange, particularly the exchange of disease as it affected the psychology of the Europeans and Native populations in the early settlement of the Americas.
Format: lesson plan (grade 7–8 Social Studies)
By Pauline S. Johnson.
Juan Pardo, the Indians of Guatari, and first contact
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 3.4
The Guatari Indians lived in an influential settlement near Trading Ford and were led by a female chief. In 1567, they encountered Spanish explorers led by Captain Juan Pardo who came through the North Carolina Piedmont with grand hopes of creating a powerful empire.
Format: article
Disease and catastrophe
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.3
Of all the kinds of life exchanged when the Old and New Worlds met, lowly germs had the greatest impact. Europeans and later Africans brought smallpox and a host of other diseases with them to America, where those diseases killed as much as 90 percent of the native population of two continents. Europeans came away lucky -- with only a few tropical diseases from Africa and, probably, syphilis from the New World. In America, disease destoyed civilizations.
Format: article
By David Walbert.
Dig finds evidence of Spanish fort
Near Morganton, North Carolina, archaeologists are excavating what they believe to be the remnants of Juan Pardo's outpost at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The 16th-century outpost, known as Fort San Juan, disappeared after Indians burned it to the ground.
Format: article