As we did these I didn’t think to save them to share online. I’m going to try to do some general ideas we used below but in many cases I don’t have links and I may be forgetting some things. The plans won't be as detailed as the ones I've been posting lately.
We covered Columbus using a video that I’ll need to search for and link soon. It was good. The activity ideas in this unit and this link were very nice and make planning a breeze though we didn’t do all of either set. Hardtack is mentioned in every story of voyages (like the Mayflower) all the way through at least the Revolutionary War and this link has a good recipe though I "saved" it for a later unit.
When we covered Balboa we focused on the discovery of the Pacific and talked about the Panama Canal. I read a story from a link I found but I can't find it now. I'll link back if I locate it. We did a playdough model/reenactment.
Ponce de Leon, 1513
When we covered Ponce de Leon we focused on the discovery of Florida and naming it for the flowers. My idea was to stamp flowers as my kids love stamping and I’ve got tons of materials from my stamping cards days. That said, now that I think of it this would be a great time to make a tissue paper flower craft!
Pizarro (1521) and Cortes (1534)
Yuck! We briefly covered Pizarro and Cortes. I’m sure there are neat ideas for this stuff but I found it difficult to communicate these things to my boys in ways that wouldn’t be too disturbing for their age in my mind. Therefore, after reading the grisly details I told them the basics of Pizarro and Cortes (and the Incas and Aztecs which we will cover in more detail at another point in our history) in story form. I used some ideas similar to those in this core knowledge lesson plan to reinforce the main points of the search for gold and advantages the Conquistadors experienced because they alone had horses and guns. We put them on our timeline and that was that for now for them. I’m sure I’ll cover in more detail when they are older.