This unit covers the many revolutions occurring around the world: Scientific Revolution; the Enlightenment; American, French, and Latin American Revolutions; and the rise of the modern nation-state.
An Era of Revolution unit contains 12 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in An Era of Revolution Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
The Scientific Revolution
Students refine their ideas of what science is and how it works. Next, they study the lives and achievements of great scientists of the Scientific Revolution, including Copernicus, Galileo, and Isaac Newton. Then they investigate what the scientific method is and how the Scientific Revolution helped bring it about. Finally, they give their own views of the scientists they have studied, by rating them in importance.
The Age of Exploration
Students get their first taste of the Age of Exploration through an engaging video about chocolate. Then, they explore facts about the Age of Exploration through the lives and voyages of great explorers. Next, they explain the Columbian Exchange. Finally, they connect the Age of Exploration to explorations in today’s world.
The Columbian Exchange
Students learn about the Columbian Exchange, the many biological and cultural exchanges between the Old and New Worlds. They learn how Native American survival was directly dependent on the environment, then they read about the Columbian Exchange and its impact on life in both the Americas and Europe. Students then work in small groups to research specific resources that were part of the exchange and describe and evaluate the impact of each one.
The Transatlantic Slave Trade
Students learn how the establishment of European colonies led to the rise of the transatlantic slave trade. They are introduced to the concept of triangular trade. They work with the Voyages: Transatlantic Slave Database to analyze data related to the slave trade.
Students are introduced to the Enlightenment, with its admiration for reason and its great philosopher-writers such as Locke, Hobbes, Voltaire, and Montesquieu. Next, they work in small groups to analyze excerpts from the writings of the Enlightenment philosophers. Finally, they imagine the salons, mainly hosted by aristocratic women, that ruled intellectual and social life in Enlightenment Paris and elsewhere.
The Enlightenment and Democracy
Students explore people, ideas, and documents that shaped democratic thought, including: the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, Charles de Montesquieu, and John Locke. First they read a geneal overview about each, and then they take a closer look at how they shaped the U.S. Constitution. Finally students choose one of three Enlightenment ideas and write an explanation for a younger child.
Emerging Economic Systems
Students learn about the the economic-social systems of mercantilism, capitalism, and market economies. First they read an overview of feudalism, mercantilism, and capitalism. Then they examine mercantilism and use it to explain a world map of 1770 empires and colonies. Next they examine capitalism, including its relationship to democracy. Finally they learn about market economies and their relationship to capitalism.
The American Revolution
Students explore the influence of Enlightenment ideas on the Revolution. They analyze the Declaration of Independence as an example of Enlightenment influence on the American Revolution. Then they elaborate on whether they would have supported American independence if they were alive at the time, and why, taking into account Enlightenment ideas.
The French Revolution
Students analyze a political cartoon from the period of the French Revolution. Then they watch a video and read an article, summarizing the stages of the revolution. Next they explain how the French Revolution applied Enlightenment ideas to the emerging modern nation. Finally they compare and contrast the French and American Revolutions.
Latin American Revolutions
Students identify Central and South American countries on a map. Then they learn about the Haitian Revolution and summarize surprising facts. Next they create a timeline of Simon Bolivar’s struggle for the liberation of South American colonies from Spain, and they evaluate his legacy. Finally they summarize who won freedom in the American, Haitian, and Bolivar-led revolutions.
The Rise of the Modern Nation-State
Students begin by defining the terms nation, state, and nation-state. Then they learn about the emergence of nation-states and summarize their characteristics. Next they compare maps of Europe between the fifteenth and early twentieth centuries and analyze the impact of the development of nation-states on European history. Finally they formulate an opinion about whether the United States can be classified as a nation-state.
The Gunpowder Empires
Students study a map and make predictions about the Gunpowder Empires. They learn about the Ottoman Empire and analyze Greek independence from the empire. Then they learn about the Safavid Empire and examine how a piece of art reflects its culture. Next they learn about the Mughal Empire and explain the source of its great wealth.