Explorers of the New World:
A webQUEST of discovery

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Explorers from every era have braved the unknown to discover new lands. Religious fervor, greed, trade, empire building, and a thirst for knowledge have all played parts in the motivation of these explorers and the countries who sponsored them. The world we know today has been shaped by their adventures and continues to be expanded by those continuing the quest for new discovery. As important as these explorers have been and continue to be in the world's history, they are largely forgotten outside the classroom. In today's modern age we travel without a thought across vast oceans which once posed seemingly impenetrable barriers to the known world.
In the interest of preserving the heritage of these brave explorers, TOP CARDS™ has decided to launch a new line of trading cards to honor them. According to market research, Explorer Trading Cards™ could possibly be the next collecting mania to sweep the nation. TOP CARDS™ has opened their project up to the fifth graders of the world, inviting them to participate in a contest to nominate explorers from the 1400's-1600's and help design this new line of cards. You are now invited to take part in this contest.
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Congratulations! You have been given the opportunity to nominate an explorer for the latest series of trading cards by Top Cards. You will search various resources to find information on an explorer of your choice from the 1400's to 1600's time period. Once you have gathered your information, you will create a trading card for that explorer to submit to Top Cards. Only 15 explorers will be chosen for the first pack of cards to be produced, so be convincing!


  1. Choose an explorer you wish to nominate, and narrow down his/her achievements to a particular voyage you wish to highlight. Choose from the following explorers:
Columbus
Hudson
de Champlain
Dias
Coronado
Cook
de la Salle
da Gama
De Leon
Cabot
Cartier
Magellan
Cortez
Drake
Marquette
Cabral
Pizzaro
Smith
Verrazzano
Vespucci


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  • Using at least three websites listed in Mrs. Lyon's "Internet Searches" WIKI page to fill out the information on the Explorer Worksheet. Use this information to create a trading card on your explorer's voyage.
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  1. You will use Microsoft Word to create your trading card.
  2. Here is a sample card on Vasco de Gama
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  1. As you search through internet and print sources for information on your explorer, be on the lookout for a picture or painting of him or her to be used on the trading card.
  2. List at least three websites that you used as resources below the paragraph on your card.
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The following criteria will be used to grade your assignment and decide which of the cards and essays will be submitted to TOP CARDS™. All of the guidelines must be followed carefully for entrance into the contest.


50 Points
25 Points
12 Points
Research (50 pts)
Well researched using at least three websites. Completed Explorer Lab Worksheet, Bibliography completed. On task lab behavior.
Partially researched, incomplete Explorer
Lab Worksheet, bibliography not complete. Mostly on task lab behavior.

Poorly researched, factual errors, incomplete Explorer Lab Worksheet, bibliography incomplete. Off task lab behavior.
Card (50 pts)
Tight, neat, and complete
Lacking detail, two or fewer errors in information.
More than two factual errors, no picture, lacking neatness, incomplete information.