Why Did They Come?


In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and landed in the Americas. Explorers from other European countries soon followed. They all wanted to control the natural resources of the area.

By the 1600's the British, Dutch and French explored the Atlantic Coast. Settlers soon followed to find a new and better life. Many came to the land now called New York. The Europeans brought many changes.

Now you are each going to go on a journey to the New World. You will become a famous explorer of New York. Explorers gather your gear. We're setting sail for the New World. All aboard!



Find out how exploration causes change, what an explorer is and who were the people who explored New York State?



Learn about each of these important people:

Adrian Block
John Cabot
Henry Hudson
Giovanni de Verrazanno
(Adrian Block2)
Jacques Cartier
(Hudson 2)
(Verrazanno 2)

Samuel de Champlain

Pretend you are the explorer you studied. Complete either A or B.

A-Write a log that begins when you, the explorer, set sail. It should include at least five entries. Use the logs you've read for help with the page layout and content. Each entry should include the date, weather, events of the day, and the feelings of the explorer.

B-Write a persuasive essay that convinces someone to come on your voyage with you. Include how someone would benefit from going, expected events that will occur during the voyage, what equipment will be on board and how long the voyage will take.

  1. Create an illustrated timeline that shows what you've learned about the explorer you studied. Make five cards, each of a different event you learned about in your research. Make sure each illustration includes accurate information about the time period and incorporate a caption for each illustration.
  2. As a group 1)Create a world map that shows each of the explorer's route. Use a different color to represent each explorer. Be creative. 2) Compare and contrast each explorer by filling in the copy of the chart. Click here for the chart and print it out.
  3.   On a separate piece of paper write a paragraph that explains what the chart shows.
  4. Write the answers to these questions on a separate sheet of paper.


Evaluate your work.

  1. 1. My explorer research was thorough, clearly understood by others and completed on time.

    Student_____ 1-25pts. Teacher_____1-25pts.

    2. My written assignment was accurate, thorough and well written with few or no mechanical errors.

    Student_____1-25pts. Teacher_____1-25pts.

    3. My contribution to the group helped the group do an exemplary job. I did my share of the group work. I listened to the ideas of others. I was cooperative.

    Student_____1-25pts. Teacher_____1-25pts.

    4. The group written work was exemplary. It was thorough, accurate and completed on time.

    Student_____1-25pts. Teacher_____1-25pts.



Early explorers led the way for others to begin a new life in New York. The settlers that followed sought to change their lives. They built forts, villages and settlements. One of the settlements became the colony of New Amsterdam, which today is called New York City.