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Who Came from Europe? - Lesson Plan
Europeans came to the
Great Lakes area for a variety of reasons, including adventure, soldiering, religion and furs. Some of those Europeans are more
familiar to us than others. Among the names
students may encounter in the museum's exhibits are: Antoine de la
Mothe Cadillac, Etienne Brulé, Father Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, Robert
Cavelier de la Salle, Captain Donald Campbell, Major Henry Gladwin, and Father
- Given the names of
famous Europeans (see above), the student will be able to write one fact
about each person.
- Students will work
in a group toward a common goal.
Michigan Social Studies Curriculum
This lesson presents an
opportunity to address, in part, these standards:
- SOC.I.2 All students
will understand narratives about major eras of American and world history by
identifying the people involved, describing the setting, and sequencing the
- SOC.V.2 All students
will conduct investigations by formulating a clear statement of a question,
gathering and organizing information from a variety of sources, analyzing
and interpreting information, formulating and testing hypotheses, reporting
results both orally and in writing, and making use of appropriate
- List of names of
early European visitors to Michigan (see
- Resource materials
- Paper and pencil
Tell students that they
will be looking for information about the first Europeans to come to the land we
now call Michigan. Ask them what they would like to know about each person,
listing the items they mention on the board. Among others, they may
include the person's country of origin, when they lived and died, why they came,
how they lived while here and why we remember them. These items become the
Assign each European
from the list in "Background Notes" (and others from your history book) to
small groups of students to research. Each group reports their findings to the class.
Have the class take notes on each presentation. Following the presentations ask
each student to write one fact about each person reported.
Questions for Discussion or
- Why did these
Europeans come to Michigan? How did they get here? When? What did they find?
- What Michigan sites
are named for these early European explorers, soldiers, and settlers?
- How should we
correctly pronounce the names of each of the French explorers?
The place where one lives
- Settler: One
who establishes a residence
- Site: A place
At the Museum
- Find the names of
early European visitors to Michigan in the First People and Two Cultures
- Stapler, Harry.
Pioneers of Forest and City, A History of Michigan for Young People.
Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of State, Bureau of History, 1985.
(Chapters 2 and 3)
- Dunbar, Willis F.,
and George F. May. Michigan, A History of the Wolverine State, Revised
Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980
(Chapters 3, 4, and 5)
Contact the Michigan Historical Museum.