Lesson Plan

Exploring the Explorers

Students will be introduced to Fifth grade Social Science curriculum, by choosing an explorer and work collaboratively to research the accomplishments of that explorer.
Mary Pat V.
Classroom teacher
Lietz Elementary School
San Jose, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Math, Science, Arts

Students will be able to...

use padlet make to observations and share wonderings about a picture of an explorer.

research and provide details summarizing the life of the explorer.

work collaboratively to complete a shared google slide deck.


Social Studies
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes


Choose one photo of each explorer and print copies for the students.  I printed two copies of each explorer. 

Number the pictures; do not write the name of the explorer on the picture.

It a good idea to laminate these pictures.


Free, Free to try, Paid

Ask the students what information can be gathered from looking at someone's photo?  Students may answer that you can see emotional, physical details, maybe an inference about the place, or weather, an understanding of the culture by looking at the clothing and so on.

Tell students you will pass out pictures of explorers. Once the students decide which explorer picture he or she would like to comment on, ask the students to share observations or wonderings about the explorer by contributing to a Padlet.



Student Instructions

After the pictures have been distributed, walk around the room and decide which explorer picture interests you the most.  

Use the link in Google Classroom to lead you to the Padlet.  

Make observations or share your wonderings about the picture of the explorer.  You do not have to guess which explorer you have.

Your comments in Padlet may include a picture if you think it provides additional clarity to your statement.


Assign the students to groups of four.  If you can make it possible for children to be in a group with an explorer of their choice, that would be ideal.

Share the Iron Chef Explorers Google Slide deck.  The "Iron Chef" Idea was made popular by John Corrippo.  Essentially it is a set of four slides with a resource, 3 bullet points and pictures/background of the subject matter.  

Once the slide decks have been shared, you can easily watch the progress of all your students.  This way you can encourage/help in a private manner - send comments!

If your students are not familiar with Google classroom or sharing a slide deck, you could print the slides and pass them out for the students to complete.

Remind the students of the rules of sharing a document that requires all participants to contribute.  

Student Instructions

Elect a team leader for the day and have the person share the slide deck with each team member and the teacher.  

Assign one slide to each participant in the group.

Be sure to use the last page to provide your links to pictures, especially if you use on for the background.  If you visit any other sites for information be sure to include that website.


Google Drive
Free, Paid

Use your Google Drive account or a PowerPoint Presentation to collect the slide decks of your class teams.  

Share these with the class.

Ask the responsible teams to answer questions.

Student Instructions

Comment or provide compliments to your class members as you all share your slide decks.