Year 8

Impact of Europeans on Native Americans

I can explain the impact of the expansion of European empires on Native Americans.

Year 8

Impact of Europeans on Native Americans

I can explain the impact of the expansion of European empires on Native Americans.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. European colonisation of the Americas had a range of devastating impacts.
  2. Europeans used religion to dispossess Native Americans and to change their culture.
  3. Conflict and disease had devastating impacts on Native American peoples.
  4. European colonisation involved exploitation of Native American peoples.

Common misconception

Europeans conquered the Americas easily because they had better weapons and technology

European diseases killed and weakened many Native Americans, undermining indigenous resistance to European conquest.


  • Devastation - devastation refers to great destruction or damage

  • Native American - Native Americans are members of any of the peoples who were the original inhabitants of North and South America and the Caribbean Islands

  • Dispossess - to dispossess someone is to take their land away

  • Exploitation - treating people unfairly or cruelly for your own benefit is called exploitation

You may wish to highlight continued Native American resistance to European conquest as part of the lesson. This could be factored into /after Task B question 2 as an extension based around a 'however' question or a 'because, but, so' summary activity
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.
  • Contains conflict or violence.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

What was the name of the settlement England founded in the Americas in 1585?
Correct Answer: Roanoke, roanoke
What was produced in Jamestown which allowed English settlers to gain lots of wealth?
Correct answer: tobacco
Match the key words with their correct definitions.
Correct Answer:colonisation,the process of taking control over another country

the process of taking control over another country

Correct Answer:conquest,taking an area of land by force

taking an area of land by force

Correct Answer:convert,to change someone's beliefs

to change someone's beliefs

Write the missing word. After three wars with English settlers, the Powhatans were forced to live on ...
Correct Answer: reservations, Reservations
Identify the example which best demonstrates European and Native American co-operation.
English settlers and the Powhatans fought one another three times.
Correct answer: Spain conquered the Aztec Empire with support from indigenous allies.
Pocahontas was kidnapped by the English and converted to Christianity.
Why was the colonisation so devastating to the Native Americans?
Conflict with Europeans was the main killer of Native Americans after 1492.
Correct answer: Mistreatment of Native Americans by Europeans led to many indigenous deaths.
Native Americans lacked the skills and technology to defeat Europeans.
Correct answer: The spread of diseases weakened native American resistance.

6 Questions

What percentage of Native Americans are estimated to have died in the century after Europeans arrived in the Americas in 1492?
Correct answer: 80%
Which keyword means to change a person's beliefs?
Correct Answer: convert, Convert, conversion, to convert
Write the missing word. The Empire was indigenous to the Americas. Its largest city was Tenohctitlan.
Correct Answer: Aztec, aztec
How did Europeans justify dispossessing Native Americans?
Native Americans had different languages to Europeans.
Native Americans had different laws to Europeans.
Correct answer: Native Americans had different religions to Europeans.
How did the English settlers at Jamestown survive their first winter in the Americas?
brought enough supplies from England
farmed enough supplies themselves
fought the Powhatans for supplies
Correct answer: provided with supplies by the Powhatans
Why did European diseases kill so many Native Americans?
Native Americans were purposefully infected by Europeans.
Native Americans had poorer medical knowledge than Europeans.
Correct answer: Native Americans lacked immunity to European diseases.