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Trade Route Timeline

Travel ancient trade routes! What products were exchanged? Where were the major ports? How did traders cross land? Show these routes on a map.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. The Silk Road is one of the most famous trade routes. It was 700 miles long and spanned from China to the Roman Empires. The Chinese traded their silk for metals, precious stones, medicines, furs, and perfumes.The Incense Route was another ancient trade route where fragrances such as frankincense and myrrh and spices, gold, ivory, and precious stones were brought from southern Arabia, Ethiopia, and Somalia to the Roman market. The Tin and Amber Routes were also ancient trade routes.
    2. Invite students to research and locate these and other ancient trade routes. What products were traded? What methods of transportation were available? When were these routes used?
    3. Ask students to use Crayola® Washable Markers to draw a map covering several trade route areas on white posterboard.
    4. With different colors of yarn, students diagram each trade rout researched. Encourage students to include a key to identify the yarn color used for each trade route, dates the routes were used, and the map's scale.
    5. After covering work area with recycled newspaper, students shape Crayola Model Magic into replicas of some of the trade goods. Paint the items in authentic colors with Crayola Tempera and Paint Brushes. Dry.
    6. Encourage students to draw other trade goods with Crayola Crayons and Colored Pencils on fabric scraps or paper. Cut them out with Crayola Scissors.
    7. Students use Crayola School Glue to attach trade goods to Trade Route Timeline. Dry.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Silk Road (Powermath) by Janey Levy; Silk Road (Insight Guides) by Andrew Forbes, Chris Bradley, Bradley Mayhew, & Sophie Ibbotsen; Stories from the Silk Road by Cherry Gilchrist; Marco Polo's Travels on Asias Silk Road (Great Journeys Across Earth) by Cath Senker; Vasco Da Gama: Quest for the Spice Trade (In the Footsteps of Explorers) by Catharine Bailey

    Students work in teams of two to compose a story about two travelers on one of the trade routes. Incorporate research about the trade routes into the fictional story. Illustrate significant scenes from the story using Crayola Colored Pencils.

    Students organize a trading post in the classroom. Prior to the "opening" students determine what types of products will be exchanged and the value of each. Who will take on the role of trader? Who will be the merchants? Where will you be coming from? Where are you headed? Provide time in the school day for students to conduct their "business" and post activities in a class blog.

    Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, was one of the first to sail from Europe to India during the Age of Discovery. What sea route did he take? When did he accomplish his task? How did his trip change trade?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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