Trading Day Explorations - 6th Grade Social Studies
The Age of Exploration (also called the Age of Discovery) began in the 1400s and continued through the 1600s. It was a period of time when the European nations began exploring the world in search of new trading routes, wealth, and knowledge.
Sixth graders experience their own version of trading and exploration on Trading Day. Without knowing why, students are asked to bring "goods" (an assortment of homemade objects) to class. They are then divided into "villages" and begin the trading process.
Each homeroom represents a different land, and eventually these sixth-grade explorers are permitted to travel to other lands to barter and trade, then return to their village to share their goods.
As part of this social studies unit on the Age of Exploration, Trading Day provides sixth graders with the opportunity to engage firsthand in the art and nuance of trading goods just as the explorers did during the early 15th to early 17th centuries. They are also learning how the lessons of the past influence our world today.