New World Explorers Unit Study and Lap Book

by | Nov 19, 2011 | American History, Columbus Day, Lap Books | 15 comments

This year we are making Lap Books to go along with each of our six Unit Studies for American History. Our first Unit was based on New World Explorers. While the girls were busy working on their Kaya Lap Books, the boys were busy making their own Lap Books with printable mini books from the Time Travelers New World Explorers CD.

Resources and Books for Unit One: 
(you can print our Unit One Plans/Booklist here)

Core Text 

Additional Books read by the Boys:
Coloring Books:

Timeline Entries:
  • c. 484-c. 578 Brendan the Navigator
  • c. 1000 Leif Erikson discovers North America
  • 1492 Columbus Discovers America
  • May 4, 1493 – Line of Demarcation (set by Pope Alexander, the boundary divided the New World between the Portuguese and the Spanish)
  • Jan. 6, 1494 – First Mass in the New World
  • 1454-1512 Amerigo Vespucci
  • 1460-1521 Juan Ponce de Leon
  • 1480-1521 Ferdinand Magellan
  • 1485-1547 Hernando Cortes
  • 1531 Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • 1510-1554 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado

Here are a few pictures of some of the boys’ entries to their History Through the Ages Record of Time timeline book during this Unit:
Additional Activities:




The dark blue center page/flap addition contains a little invocation to Our Lady of Guadalupe, with a miniture version of Charlotte’s Coloring Page, at the top, and the Navigational Equipment Wheel on the bottom.

On the Left Flap: 
5 Reasons for Exploration

Line of Demarcation
On the Right Flap:
“Real Estate” Brochure

Sea Monster pop-up
Center Flap #2 : Treasure Chest; Anatomy of a Ship


The Center of Actual Lap Book Folder contains a pocket for all the Acetate Maps the boys created, with overlays for the explorers routes.   


The boys had so much fun making these!  

On the back of each of the inserted pages were all the Explorer Profiles.

Inside the boys wrote the place of birth, which country they explored for, the years of each expedition and the discoveries that each explorer is best known for and/or interesting facts.

All of the profiles are on color coded paper representing the country for which they were exploring.


The boys finished this unit up last month and have since moved on to Unit Two.  They have been studying Jamestown, the Pilgrims, Ben Franklin, and Colonial Life.   We are hoping to finish up by the end of this month, before moving on to the very much anticipated Unit Three, based on the American Revolution!


  1. Sarah Harkins

    These lap books are incredible! I am always so impressed by lap books. It was never something I did in school, so one of these days, I'm going to have to take the leap and put one together with my son.

    Your ideas are great and the resources are excellent! thanks for sharing!

  2. fadfd

    IMPRESSIVE! Really…impressive.

    My Max is drooling and is wondering why we are in Rome and not exploring new lands…LOL.

  3. Janet

    A dear wonderful friend of mine just sent me the link to this post. I'm now a lifer. You are fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing this and all of the other wonderful things I will be searching through tomorrow!

  4. Anonymous

    I was already so impressed by your History Plans for this year, and now these lapbooks are just amazing! Great job to the boys, and to MOM! I will be saving all these links for when we get back around to American History.

  5. LuAnn

    Hi Jessica,

    I'm always so impressed and inspired by your beautiful ideas and work. Thanks so much for sharing! The quality of the cutting, pasting, coloring amazes me. Do your children do it all themselves, or how much do you assist? How did they learn to cut so well? Where do you buy your colored file folders? Do you use just regular glue sticks for the pasting? Do you have any other hints so we can get our lapbooks to look that good? Sorry for all the questions – but one last thing: Do you print everything out and do just one or two elements of the lapbook per day, or do you have large chunks of time devoted to it periodically? I pray for you and your family, and appreciate the inspiration you are to me.

  6. Amanda

    Jessica, how did From Sea to Shining Sea work for your younger son? It looks like one was third grade at the time? My oldest is in 3rd and I have used Eggleston's history books the last few years but he is an advanced reader and I think he could handle FStSS. Any thoughts?

  7. Jessica Gordon

    My boys were in 4th and 5th Grade last year and read through half of the book, along with our Unit Studies, and they LOVE it! They'll continue it and finish it this year. My boys are not advanced readers, but they do love all things History.

  8. Amy Pak


    What a beautiful job your children did with the Time Traveler! Thank you so much for posting–it's such a joy to see! I've linked you to my Pinterest board so other moms can enjoy your blog, too!

  9. Mesh

    I love your website and great job on all the lap books!!! I'd like to start my girls on this and was wondering where to start…how do I find all the printouts and etc.?
    Thank You and God Bless.

  10. Unknown

    Hi! I love this lapbook! Did you all create this on your own or did you purchase the lapbook from somewhere?

  11. Mbussey

    Wow these are wonderful! I am very impressed and cannot wait to use these with my students!


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