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Elementary: Early Explorers


Print Resources – Nonfiction

Hernandez, Roger E.  Early Explorations:  the 1500s  x 973.1 H557
Provides information on the history of Spanish exploration in the United States.

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody  The Look-It-Up Book of Explorers  x 910.9 K49
Concise and interesting accounts of the men and women who have explored our world--and beyond.

Taylor-Butler, Christine  Explorers of North America  x 973.1 T247
Contents:  Europeans explore the Americas -- A trade route to Asia -- The search for gold -- In search of the Northwest Passage -- The Corps of Discovery –Modern explorers.

Aykroyd, Clarissa  Exploration of the California Coast  x 979 A977
Discusses the sixteenth-century exploration of California's coast, including  the adventures of such Spanish explorers as Cortes, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, and Sebastian Vizcaino, as well as Englishman Sir Francis Drake.


Freedman, Russell  Who Was First?  Discovering the Americas x 973.1 F853
Presents new evidence that has come to light in recent years that explorers from other parts of the globe set foot on American shores long before Columbus did in 1492.

The Explorer Atlas  x 910.9 E965 folio
Text and maps follow the journeys of fourteen explorers and their adventures, including the Vikings, Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, Captain Cook, David Livingstone, and the Kon-Tiki expedition.

Print Resources – Historical Fiction

Erskine, Dorothy Ward  North With De Anza
As part of a two thousand mile expedition to settle northern California in the eighteenth century, twelve-year-old Pedro Peralta travels from Mexico and faces such dangers as an Apache attack and the treacherous Colorado River.

Lee, Rebecca Lawrence  Kori and the Island of Enchantment
A member of a sixteenth-century Spanish expedition exploring the Channel Islands off the coast of California jumps ship, makes a new life for himself among the local Indians, and falls in love with a wood nymph.

Britton, Betty Louise Middleton  Promises! Promises!
Presents a clear picture of the day-to-day existence of the early settlers in California,  of soldiers and their families and the bureaucracy that affected their lives.

DVD Resources

America’s Explorers and Pioneers
Call #:  DVD x 973.1 A5125
This program is about American explorers and pioneers who were the pathfinders: those who first explored the valleys, rivers and mountains of America, and those who were the first to make it their home. Men like Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, Henry Hudson, James Cook, Daniel Boone, Robert Gray, Lewis and Clark, Charles Wilkes, John Fremont, and more. While outlining the exploration of our continent, this also captures the great beauty and abundant natural resources of our great land.

America Before Columbus
Call #:  DVD 973.1 A5123
When Columbus stepped ashore in 1492, millions of people were already living in America. It wasn't exactly a 'New World,' but an old one whose inhabitants had built a vast infrastructure of cities, orchards, canals, and causeways. But after Columbus set foot in the Americas, an endless wave of explorers, conquistadors, and settlers arrived, and with each of their ships came a Noah's Ark of plants, animals, and disease. Here is an exploration into the mysterious world of ancient American history.

Who Really Discovered America
Call #:  DVD 973.1 W6285
Did a number of explorers discover the New World long before Christopher Columbus staked his claim in 1492? Explore the possibility that the Chinese, Japanese, Polynesians, Norse, Welsh, Irish, Ancient Hebrews, and the Solutreans all made it to the Americas earlier than Columbus. Rebuild the ships, trace the routes, test the artifacts, and analyze blood evidence to finally learn the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of all time: who really discovered America?

Web Resources

California History Online
Recounts the voyages of early European explorers.  Includes the records of their voyages and fascinating profiles on individual explorers, as well as a comprehensive timeline of events.

American Journeys
Contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later. Read the words of explorers, Indians, missionaries, traders and settlers as they lived through the founding moments of American history. View, search, print, or download more than 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives from the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Interactive Map:  Exploration of North America, 1492-1700
Click on an explorer’s name and see the route he traveled appear on screen, tracing his journey.  Includes related activities and assignments.