Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes


Writing Prompt


Explorers return home with wondrous descriptions of what they have seen. Have students write a paragraph that describes their favorite place or a discovery they have made.


Grades K–3: Social Studies
Ship Ahoy!

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue on a type of ship known as a caravel. Have students color a ship like the one Columbus sailed.

Grades K–6: Social Studies
By Land and by Sea

Explorers roam the land and the sea in search of discovery. Have students create a globe, using simple materials.

Grades 1–2: Social Studies
Tales of Travels

Stories about unfamiliar places often inspired explorers to go somewhere new. Have students share stories about places where they have been.

Grades 1–3: Science

In Compass Tag, students will play a game using the cardinal directions to locate different objects around the classroom.

  • Compass Tag
Grades 1–8: Social Studies

Test students' knowledge about explorers.

  • Explorers (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • Explorers Answer Key (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • Exploring America (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • Exploring America Answer Key (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • Exploring the World (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • Exploring the World Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
Grades 2–5: Geography, Math, Art
Map It!

Successful explorers were map-making experts. Have students practice this essential skill by creating their own maps.

  • Make a Map (easy)
  • Using Grids (hard)
Grades 2–5: Social Studies/Language Arts
Rescue Me!

What happens when an explorer becomes stranded? Have students write a story about an adventure that goes wrong.

Grades 2–8: Language Arts
Word Finds

Have students find explorer-related words hidden in a puzzle.

  • Columbus Day (grades 2–3) (PDF file)
  • Columbus Day Answer Key (grades 2–3) (PDF file)
  • Explorers (grades 4–5) (PDF file)
  • Explorers Answer Key (grades 4–5) (PDF file)
  • Explorers (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • Explorers Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
Grades 3–5: Social Studies
Collectors' Cards

Have your students make cards that illustrate the achievements of great explorers.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Christopher Columbus's Discoveries

Have students answer these questions and learn about Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the New World.

Grades 3–8: Science
Moon with a View

When U.S. explorers Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin looked out into space in 1969, this is what they saw. Have students share the experience with this puzzle.

Grades 3–8: Language Arts
Letters Home

Invite each of the students to write a letter that describes a real or an imaginary adventure.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies
Where Are You?

Knowing latitude and longitude helps travelers locate where they are on Earth. Have students determine the coordinates of where they are now, and of another location they might want to explore someday.

Grades 3–8: Social Studies/Science
Which Way Is Which?

Have students create a box compass or a water compass.

Grades 4–5: Social Studies/Language Arts
Fill In the Blanks

Have your students learn more about the Lewis and Clark expedition with this cloze activity.

Grades 4–6: Language Arts
Ode to Explorers

Have students read poems by other students and then write one about a favorite explorer.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies
Lead the Expedition!

Your students can guide Lewis and Clark westward in this interactive game from National Geographic.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies
Pack Your Bags

What should an explorer pack for an expedition? Have students choose an exploration adventure and make a list of items they would need for it. Then have students explain their choices.

Grades 4–8: Social Studies
The Times of Their Lives

A timeline can quickly put dates and events into perspective. Have students fill in this chart and compare British, Spanish, and French exploration from 1490 to 1710.

Grades 5–8: Science
Space Game

Have students discover the spelling strategy needed to win this spacey game.

Grades 5–8: Science
10, 9, 8…Take Off!

Space travel depends on sophisticated rockets. Have students explore the fundamental science of space rocketry by building a bubble-powered rocket. (Adult supervision is needed for this activity.)

Houghton Mifflin