Colonial America: Vocabulary

Social Studies American History Colonial America Colonial America: Vocabulary
Students interact with vocabulary words that they will encounter throughout Unit 2: Colonial America.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

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Here are the teacher pack items for Colonial America: Vocabulary:

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In this experience, students interact with vocabulary words that they will encounter throughout Unit 2: Colonial America.

Estimated duration: 30 minutes

Vocabulary words:

  • agriculture
  • colony
  • conquistador
  • exploration
  • indentured servant
  • industry
  • migration
  • missionary
  • monarchy
  • representative government


  • Learn vocabulary related to colonial America.

Unit Vocabulary

The European Age of Exploration sprang from the development of new tools that enabled long-distance travel, especially across the oceans. Explorers wanted to find new trade routes and discover new lands in order to bring wealth and glory to the European rulers. After a century of exploration, the first brave settlers began to arrive in the Americas to establish colonies. You will learn about the Age of Exploration and the American colonies in this unit.


  • Learn vocabulary related to colonial America.

an explorer holding a flag and sword, pointing to a wooden cross and claiming new lands in the name of king and Christianity; Native Americans watch

European explorers arriving in the new world, William H. Lippincot (1890)

This lesson builds your vocabulary with words you will use in this unit. The words are:

  • agriculture: the science of growing plants and raising animals for food
  • colony: a settlement or country ruled by another country, usually one far away
  • conquistador: Spanish for conqueror, Spanish soldiers who helped colonize the Americas
  • exploration: traveling to a new place in order to discover new things
  • indentured servant: a person who came to America and had to work for someone else over a period of time to pay off a debt
  • industry: economic activity that results in the making of a particular product
  • migration: movement from one region to another
  • missionary: a person sent to a foreign country to do religious work
  • monarchy: a type of government ruled by only one person (usually a king or queen) who rules for life
  • representative government: a political system where the people select representatives who create the laws and policies

Let’s start with the word exploration. The Latin root is explorare, meaning “investigate or search out.”

What is something that you can explore?

Post your answer

Students may post very specific answers—e.g., a new recipe—or very general answers—e.g., a science problem. Point out that there are many types of exploration. In this unit, they will focus on exploration of new, unfamiliar places.

When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

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