Era 1: Beginnings to 1620 Beginning with pre-Columbian times, the expectations focus on American Indians living in North America before European exploration. The geographic concepts of spatial awareness, places and regions, human systems, and human environment interactions are addressed throughout the era as students study American history to 1620. The expectations deliberately expand upon students’ knowledge of American Indians living in Michigan and the concept of regions from previous grades. In examining European exploration and conquest, the expectations embed geographic, civics, and economic concepts, and revisit the case study method used by historians to explain the technological and political developments that made exploration possible. In deepening understanding of perspective, students also explore the goals, obstacles, motivations, and consequences of European exploration and the subsequent colonization of the Americas. The expectations also include an introduction to life in Africa as a foundation for examining interactions among Europeans, American Indians, and Africans from the 15th through the 17th centuries with a focus on how economic concepts influenced the behavior of people and nations. Students apply the tools of the historian by using primary and secondary sources to compare European and American Indian cultures, using previously established criteria. The expectations also focus on the interaction among Europeans, American Indians, and Africans, by exploring the impact of European contact on American Indian cultures, comparing the approaches of the British and French in their interactions with American Indians, and examining the Columbian Exchange and its impact on all three groups.