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Big Era Five: Landscape Unit 5.6

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Spheres of Interaction in the Americas:
300-1500 CE

Why This Unit?

Networks of trade and exchange have been an important feature of world history. This was true both in Afroeurasia and the Americas. People not only acquired goods they needed and wanted from outside their immediate region, but they also received technological, religious, and other ideas from the people with whom they had contact. In this unit, students will learn that by Big Era Five (300-1500 CE) indigenous peoples of the Americas had developed extensive networks of trade and exchange. They will also learn that they accomplished this even though they had no pack animals (except for llamas in the Andes), no wheels, and no carts.

We tend to think of our contemporary world as unique with regard to the web of connections we share with others around the globe. It is important for us to remember that connections between different human societies have always been a feature of world history. What is different today is only the complexity and speed of our interconnections.

 

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1. Identify and locate spheres of interregional exchange in the Americas.

2. List examples of goods exchanged within spheres.

3. Explain how goods were exchanged and transported over a wide geographic area.

4. Describe theories about which spheres might have been linked through trade.

Time and Materials

Time:
This lesson takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

Materials:

  • Student Handouts
  • Atlas
  • Map

Table of Contents

Why This Unit?

2

Unit Objectives

2

Time and Materials

2

Authors

2

The Historical Context

3

This Unit in the Big Era Timeline

3

Lesson: Spheres of Interaction

4

This Unit and the Three Essential Questions

12

This Unit and the Seven Key Themes

12

This Unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

12

Resources

13

Correlations to National and State Standards and to Textbooks

15

Conceptual Links to Other Teaching Units

16

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF Format

 

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