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Teaching the history of Colonialism usually centers on the political, social, and economic effects of the era. Often, the environmental effects of Colonialism are glossed over, as time constraints make covering every aspect of this era impossible. This is unfortunate as we are just beginning to realize the long-lasting consequences of the environmental destruction caused during the colonial era. This unit is designed to help social studies teachers give students a more complete understanding of what happened to the North American continent and its inhabitants during this time period. In addition, the goal of the unit is to make our students more aware of the adverse effects environmental degradation can have upon us all by having them research modern land uses and judge these land uses as either just or unjust.
(Recommended for World History and U.S. History, grades 9-10.)