Hernando De Soto and His Exploration of La Florida Debra Stephens and Jennifer Sowell, Carlton Palmore Elementary
Hernando De Soto was a Spanish Navigator and conquistador. He gained much of his wealth by trafficking slaves and came to win large areas of land in the Spanish colonies, as well as gold mines and trade ships. In 1537, rich and bored, De Soto pressured the King Charles V to allow him to lead his own expedition into the heart of what is now know as the United States of America. Since De Soto financed his own trip, King Charles V granted him both the governor-ship of Cuba, as well as the ruler of lands and people of La Florida. In May 1539, Hernando De Soto landed with 600 to 700 men, twenty priests, nine ships, 220 horses, pigs, and fierce war dogs on the western coast of Florida, in Bradenton. He named this place, Espiritu Santo after the Holy Ghost. De Soto’s army became dependent on the Native Americans for food among other survival needs. Students will learn more about De Soto’s travels, challenges, and discoveries in La Florida by using websites to research information.
Objectives: 1. Students will state what they know about Hernando De Soto, what they want to know, and what they learn through this lesson.
Students will use the Internet to research facts about Hernando De Soto explorations.
Students will write a biography about Hernando De Soto’s life.
U.S. History Event or Time Period: 16th Century—European Colonization of North America
Grade Level: 4th or 5th grade
Materials Needed: K-W-L-H Chart copied for each student or a transparency to do whole class, a research template for each student, computers with Internet access, and an assessment for each student
Lesson Time: One class period---K-W-L-H chart to find students prior knowledge of explorers One class period---Internet Research with research template as well as writing interesting facts found One class period---Read Guided Reading Informational Sheet & Glossary highlighting the most important facts. 20 minutes-Assessment