A thorough exploration of Europe. Students study history, from ancient times through the EU, and explore culture, economics, and more.
Europe unit contains 17 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Europe Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
Europe: Geographic Passport
Students are introduced to the physical geography of Europe. They create a map to explore and compare aspects of Europe. Next, they consider the connection between the landforms and the human geography of the region. Finally, they create a postcard for one country.
Europe: Natural Resources and the Environment
Students review the countries of Europe and then explore the climate and some of the important natural resources of the continent. Next, students get an overview on environmental threats in Europe and work in small groups to research and report on a specific problem. Finally, they take a look at the role that young people can play in preserving natural resources and the environment.
Europe: History and Its Influence: 17th to the 19th Centuries
Students are introduced to the many changes of this era by considering the shift in thinking about a Sun-centric view of the universe. Then they explore three "revolutions" of this era—the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution. Finally, students write a paragraph that describes the revolutionary nature of these three eras and explains their influence on the lives of Europeans.
Europe: History and Its Influence: Europe and the World Wars
Students are introduced to Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. They learn about the causes and significant features of World War I. Then they explore and explain how and why Hitler was able to rise to power in the years after World War I. Next, they learn about key events in World War II. Finally, they learn about the Holocaust and write a personal diary response.
Europe: History and Its Influence: Europe after 1945
Students are introduced to the Cold War by watching a video of the Berlin Wall coming down. Then, they learn about the Cold War and how it influenced various parts of Europe. Next, they explore the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and explain its impact in specific countries. Finally, students develop a set of interview questions they would like to ask someone who lived through the Cold War in Europe.
Europe: History and Its Influence: The European Union
Students are introduced to the history of the European Union from post-World War II to the present. They explore how the EU functions. Then, they work in groups to research and present the two sides of the Brexit referendum. Finally, students analyze Brexit and explain their own position.
Northern Europe: The Economy of Scandinavia
Students explore the Nordic countries, with an emphasis on the Scandinavian economy. They review the Happiness Report 2015 (prepared for the United Nations) and note that the Nordic countries are among the happiest in the world. They explore Nordic social democracy, and how geography, technology, and immigration play a part in the economy.
Northern Europe: Society and Culture
Students explore the influence of geography on cultural and social elements of Northern Europe. They do a scavenger hunt to find the languages, religions, cultural activities, and cuisine of the region and connect those to the geographic location of the region. Then, they learn about the history of Scandinavian design and its relationship to geography, manufacturing, and urbanization. Finally, students consider their own geographic location and design a piece of furniture based on it.
Western Europe: Government and Economy
Students explore the governments and economies of the countries of Western Europe. They first read an overview, comparing and contrasting the countries in the region. Then they do additional research on one particular country, developing a presentation on its government and economy. Finally, students develop a list of questions they have for a young person who lives in one of those countries.
Western Europe: Society and Culture
Students consider the elements of a culture and then look specifically at some of these elements in France. Then they work in groups to research some of the cultural elements in an assigned Western European country. Finally, students explain the cultural elements of their own community.
Southern Europe: Government and Economy
Students review the geography of Southern Europe, including the three peninsulas that create it. Then they explore aspects of these countries' economies that are directly connected to their geography—and to one another. Finally, students learn about the Greek economic crisis and write an article describing it to younger students.
Southern Europe: Society and Culture
Students are introduced to the connection between culture, history, and physical elements of life such as food. Then they explore the distinctions of Mediterranean cuisine. Next, students research and report on a food tradition or celebration of Greece, Italy, or Spain. Finally, they research a Southern European restaurant in their own community and evaluate it based on what they have learned.
Eastern Europe: Government and Economy
Students consider the government and economies of Eastern Europe in light of the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. They learn about the transitions to post-communist democracy in many of the Eastern European countries. Then they study the ethnic conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and explain how that situation offers valuable lessons in the connection between geography and politics. Finally, students create a list of questions they might ask someone who lived in Eastern Europe in 1991.
Eastern Europe: Society and Culture
Students are introduced to folk dancing and explore what it is and what it reflects in a culture. They research various folk dance traditions around the world, then focus specifically on Eastern Europe. Next, students work in small groups to research the cultural elements of one of the Eastern European countries. Finally, students describe why someone might want to visit one of these countries.