......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................. .............................................................................................Topic 2 >

external image Nordamerikanische_Kulturareale_en.png
Key Concept 1.1: As native populations migrated and settled across the vast expanse of North America over time, they developed distinct and increasingly complex societies by adapting to and transforming their diverse environments.

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Key Concept 1.2: Contact among Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans resulted in the Columbian Exchange and significant social, cultural, and political changes on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.


Additional Teaching and Learning Resources


Columbian Exchange


Columbus in Sight of Land ~ Issue of 1893
Columbus in Sight of Land ~ Issue of 1893

rotating gif.gifFor more about the Columbian Exchange, see Key Concept 4.1.

The Columbian Exchange is a term used to describe the exchange of goods, disease, cultures and populations during this time. It is also referred to as the Triangle Trade.



game_icon.svg.pngCan You Name the Domesticated Plants and Animals of the Columbian Exchange?
Multimedia.pngThe Columbian Exchange, Crash Course video.

Mayan numbers 0 to 19
Mayan numbers 0 to 19

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 10.27.35 AM.pngPlay a Mayan Math Numbers game to learn how Mayan people did mathematica calculations from the National Museum of the American Indian

Multimedia.png This YouTube video is by a a US AP History teacher, who explains the differences between Northern vs Southern Native American Societies.It also serves as a good example of a history lesson.

game_icon.svg.pngExploring the Early Americas is an interactive online exhibit from the Library of Congress.

Extent of Maya civilization (red) compared to all other Meso-american cultures (black)
Extent of Maya civilization (red) compared to all other Meso-american cultures (black)


Peopling North America: Population Movements and Migration from the University of Calgary.

Pre-columbian societies includes both Meso-american cultures such as the Maya and the Native Americans or "Indians".

lessonplan.jpg This link, from PBS, leads to a lesson plan on the Ancient Maya for grades 7-12.

Ruins across Meso-America show us that these civilizations were very complex and by no means barbaric. While the movies tend to portray the Mayans as inhuman for their practice of human sacrifice, they also had many advances in astronomy, the arts, and sciences. For example, the Maya developed their own calendar, invented a glyph writing system, and created amazing structures (1).

map_icon.jpegGo here for an interactive activity to explore different cities of the Mayan world: Mayan interactive Map

Pedestal Plate, Sitio Conte, Panama
Pedestal Plate, Sitio Conte, Panama

Multimedia.pngRiver of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures from Sitio Conte, located in Panama. Scientists believe the objects go back 1000 years to between 700 and 900 A.D.

For more on the discoveries at Sitio Conte, see, The Golden Chiefs of Panama from National Geographic Magazine, January 2012.




Native American Cultures in North America

Native Americans first appeared in North America approximately 10,000 years ago by crossing a land bridge from Asia.
  • When people talk about the Native Americans they typically forget that there was no single nation or culture that defined the groups that lived across modern continental America.
  • While there were many similarities between cultures, such as the importance of nature, each group varied depending on their location.
  • When European colonists arrived, there were an estimated 15-20 million Native Americans speaking at least 1,000 different languages (2).

Map of North American tribes prior to European Settlers
Map of North American tribes prior to European Settlers


This link describes some of the differences between groups by region: Native American Tribes

external image 200px-Hebrew_timeline.svg.pngThe following Native American Timeline shows how Native American groups changed and developed over time:

lessonplan.jpgTeaching Pre-Columbian and Colonial American History Online from University of Michigan




Links Cited:
1. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mayacode/map-nf.html
2. http://www.historycentral.com/Indians/Before.html