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American History. 1492 to 1877. 8.H.2. 8 th Grade History Standard Colonization to Independence 2. North America, originally inhabited by American Indians, was explored and colonized by Europeans for economic and religious reasons. .

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american history

American History

1492 to 1877



8th Grade

History Standard

Colonization to Independence

2. North America, originally inhabited by American Indians, was explored and colonized by Europeans for economic and religious reasons.

8H.2 North America, originally inhabited by American Indians, was explored and colonized by Europeans for economic and religious reasons.


Archaeology – the study of ancient people

Artifact – an item left behind by early people that represents their culture

Nomad- people who move from place to place, usually in search of food or grazing land

Migration – a movement of larger number of people into a new homeland.

Maize – an early form of corn grown by Native Americans

Carbon Dating– a scientific method used to determine the age of an artifact

Culture – a way of life of a group of people who share similar beliefs and customs

Civilizations– a highly developed culture, usually with organized religions and laws

Hieroglyphics – an ancient form of writing using symbols and pictures to represent words, sounds and concepts.

Federation – a type of government that links different groups together.


AD 1300 Aztec build Tenochtitlan in Mexico

AD 1492

Columbus lands in the Americas

7000 BC

Farming develops in Mexico

AD 1085

Anasazi build pueblos in North America

AD 1400s

Inca Empire reaches its height in South America

28,000 BC

Asian Hunters entered North America







10,000 BC

Last Ice Age Ends

AD 1609

Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River

AD 1295

Italian traveler Marco Polo returns from China

early people
Early People

When Europeans arrived in the Americas in the late 1400s, they found Native Americans living there.

  • Archaeology – the study of ancient peoples
  • Artifacts – things left behind by early people, such as stone tools, weapons, baskets, and carvings.

Archaeologists have found artifacts that support the theory that Native Americans came across the land bridge, Beringia, that once joined Asia and the Americas.

  • Nomads – people who moved from place to place. They gathered wild grains and fruits but depended on hunting for their food.
  • Migration – a movement of a large number of people into a new homeland.
first americans
First Americans

Land Bridge

cause and effect

Migration to the Americas

Cause and Effect


  • The Earth enters a long ice age
  • Water from the oceans freezes into glaciers
  • Sea levels drop, exposing the Beringia land bridge


  • Nomadic hunters from Asia cross into North America
  • People spread into Central America and South America
  • The early Americans create many new cultures
extended response questions
Extended Response Questions

Cause and Effect

The earth entered a long ice age causing oceans to freeze exposing the Beringia land bridge. What was one of the effects of this event?

hunting for food
Hunting for Food

The early Americans were skilled at hunting. They shaped pieces of stone and bone to make tools for chopping and scrapping.

Early on there were woolly mammoth, and mastodons which resembled modern elephants in size. A single mammoth provided tons of meat, enough to feed a group of people for months. They used every part of the animal. The skin was turned into clothing, carved the bones into weapons and tools, and have used the long ribs to build shelters.

the thaw
The Thaw

About 12,000 years ago the earth’s temperatures began to rise. The great glaciers melted, the oceans rose, and Beringia was submerged again. The Americas were cut off from Asia.

The mammoths and other large animals began to die out, either from overhunting or because of changes in the environment. The early Americans had to find other sources of food.

making roots
Making roots

The early Americans began to hunt for smaller game, such as deer, birds, and rodents. Those near rivers or lakes learned to catch fish with nets and traps. They began to collect wild berries and grains.

About 9,000 years ago, tribes in Mexico made a discovery that would shape the lives of Native Americans for thousands of years. They learned to plant and raise an early form of corn called maize. Their harvests were steady and a reliable source of food. They no longer needed to move from place to place to survive.

cause and effect1
Cause and Effect

The Natives began to experiment with other kinds of seeds. They planted pumpkins, beans, chili peppers, avocados and squashes. They began producing more than enough food to feed themselves. They no longer needed to depend on wandering animals as their food source. The population grew along with the ever-increasing food supply.

early communities
Early Communities

Scientists have found traces of early villages that date from about 5,000 years ago.

They used a method called carbon dating to find out the age of an artifact. Carbon dating measures the amount of radioactive carbon that remains in the object helping to date the age of the object.

north american peoples
North American Peoples

Hohokam – AD 300 to AD 1200, lived in the dry, hot desert of present-day Arizona. They were experts at squeezing every drop of water from the sunbaked soil. They developed irrigation channels to carry river water into their fields.


Anasazi – AD 200 to AD 1300, lived in four corners (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico). They were known for their great stone dwellings called pueblos. Many of the pueblos were built into the walls of steep cliffs. This was for protection from enemies and winter weather.


The Mound Builders (Hopewell and Adena) – 200BC to 500AD in present day Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River Valley. These mounds were built as huge burial mounds in the shape of birds, bears, and snakes.

Cahokia – largest group of mound builders in present day Illinois. They built Monks Mound which is nearly 100 feet high.