Paths of Exploration - Set (old)

Paths of Exploration - Set (old)

Trail Guide to Learning 2 Volume Set
by Debbie Strayer, Linda Fowler
Publisher: Geography Matters
2nd Edition, ©2013, ISBN: 9781931397988
Hardcover, 748 pages
Current Retail Price: $160.00
Used Price: $45.00 (2 in stock) Condition Policy

The Paths of American History begin with Exploration.

Following the steps of famous explorers and pioneers across America, let geography be your guide to science, history, language skills, and the arts. This journey teaches students HOW to think by asking, answering, and investigating questions about our great country's beginning and growth. The paths of the explorers are seen through multidisciplinary eyes, but always with the same goals: to make learning enjoyable, memorable, and motivating.

This full one-year course is ideal for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Every subject but math is covered in Paths of Exploration

For more details about the curriculum, including our educational approach, please download this Trail Guide to Learning series brochure and view the additional samples and information in the "Samples" tab, above.

Required student notebook pages are available for each grade level and are an integral part of this curriculum. Notebook pages provide maps, charts, space for copywork or dictation and any other template page needed throughout the year. Student Notebooks are not included with the Teachers Guide, but you can order them here.

Digital downloads of all three levels (4th, 5th, and 6th grades) of the Student Notebooks are included with the Complete Package and with each individual Unit Package.

These extensions provide additional assignments and activities for the age groups below. They do not stand alone, but are meant to be used alongside the main Teacher’s Guide.

Below, you will find a summary of each unit and a list of the resources that are used only during that unit. Additional resources and books are used throughout the year.

Core Resources are used throughout the year in nearly every unit.

Since Christopher Columbus is widely regarded as one of the first to encounter the New World, the study of his voyages and explorations begin our journey. As travelers, we start with the basics of geography such as maps, the compass rose, globe skills, oceans and continents. Learning about early navigation, the sun, stars, planets and constellations take center stage as well as developing the skills of observation and recording. Our literature reveals the hopes, dreams and struggles of Columbus and the importance of staying with what you do best. Using the wildlife handbook we can see the animals and wildlife that Columbus and his crew observed and learn about life aboard ship. You will journey back to a time when dreams of discovery led men to risk all and then watch as they sought to make the most of the opportunities they were given.


In addition to the core resources, the Columbus unit uses the following materials:

Jamestown—Unit 2

Like all explorers, the colonists of Jamestown had their hopes and dreams. Leaving the limitations of the Old World behind, these sojourners in the New World found many challenges. This unit highlights the connection between history, geography and science as climate, terrain and culture determine many of the struggles faced by the Jamestown colonists. The clash between the customs of the Old World and the necessities of the New World are played out in the literature through drama and adventure as unknowns as well as famous names play their parts in the story of Jamestown. We see the importance of letter writing and the beauty and power of words to communicate the events and strong emotions tied to this endeavor. Never were the connections of home so important to survival and the faithfulness of a few so timely.


In addition to the core resources, the Jamestown unit uses the following materials:

The lives and journeys of the Pilgrims were shaped by their deeply held beliefs which guided them around Europe and ultimately across the Atlantic Ocean. The hope of freedom that was in them was a driving force which led them through many trials and carried them during times of hardship. Our students learn how to give answers and use context to determine meaning, deepening their ability to comprehend and respond to the circumstances of life. History sets a rich feast of people and places as well as habitat and wildlife as the backdrop to the life and death struggle of the Pilgrims. Narrative writing connects their experiences showing the flow of events as well as the importance of cause and effect. Reflecting the articulate speech of the Pilgrims, we learn about the nuts and bolts of words and word meanings as well as the everyday life of a Pilgrim family. Once again we take inspiration from those who have gone before us, who set a course and followed it with all their strength, leaving us a legacy of freedom.


In addition to the core resources, the Pilgrims unit uses the following materials:

Daniel Boone—Unit 4

Did you know that the Boy Scouts were patterned after Daniel Boone? He was a skilled hunter and observant tracker at a very young age, able to live off the land, earning him the praise of his father and many others in their community. You will study him and his family not only because of his skill but also because of his love for nature and his determination to lead the way for others to follow. In this unit you will learn about hiking, tracking, maps and communicating when separated by distance or language. All of these skills are studied in the context of the forests of America, including the Appalachian Trail. You will take an in depth look at trees and insects and their connections to other aspects of life in the wilds. Examining these topics also gives you the perfect opportunity to write about them, to explain what you have learned. This unit takes a look into the history of our land and its peoples, as well as an introduction to the move west of the growing frontier.


In addition to the core resources, the Daniel Boone unit uses the following materials:

The spirit of Daniel Boone continues with Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery as they travel farther west than any other American emissaries. Journaling was an important part of their role as explorers, making illustrations and writing descriptions of all the unusual sights they saw. Encouraging keen observation, your study of plant and animal life continues with the new and exciting sights found on the trail into the northwest. Equally novel is the study of the states of matter and the water cycle connected to their travels. With real accounts of their adventures, primary source documents make real the adventure, danger and exhilaration of success experienced by the group, including the exploits of a remarkable Native American woman, Sacagawea. Join the Corps as they travel to points unknown at the behest of their friend and president, Thomas Jefferson.


In addition to the core resources, the Lewis & Clark unit uses the following materials:

Trails West—Unit 6

Your travels conclude with famous folk heroes and a family traveling the trail out west. Both were drawn to the opportunities and the wide-open spaces of the west, all the while measuring the cost and challenge of such a journey. With history and folk tales mixing to tell our story, wisdom comes forth as neighbor helped neighbor, everyone working hard, yet always saving a bit to share with a welcome stranger. Separating detail from the significant, students learn to identify main events as well as to read the intentions of individuals. The journey is completed with a review and reminder of all that has gone before—the successes and struggles, the pain and the joy of lives lived for the purpose of opening our great nation to those millions who would follow from all corners of the earth. Come along as these brave men, women and children guide you along the Paths of Exploration!


In addition to the core resources, the Trails West unit uses the following materials:

If you have landed on this page and haven’t yet learned much about the Trail Guide to Learning curriculum series, we recommend you read the intro to Trail Guide to Learning. Then come back to see what Paths of Exploration is all about!

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