Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Early Explorers Unit Study–Part 1

Part One of our Early Explores Unit covered Leif Erickson through Amerigo Vespucci.    As you’ll see in our library list at the bottom of this post, we did a LOT of reading.   This has been dubbed the “best year of history ever” by one of my girls, grins.

In order to add a bit of “authenticity”, we built little wooden explorer ships from these cute little kits I found at A.C. Moore back in the summer.  We also worked on learning the names for the parts of a ship while assembling this project.

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The kits were pretty easy to assemble, although, getting the sails on properly was a bit of a struggle. Our trusty hot glue gun took care of that issue.  Olivia named her ship the Pinta and Lindsey named hers the Santa Maria.

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I decided to work on mapping skills along with this section of our unit study.  We learned about latitude and longitude and then put those skills to use locating destinations worldwide using this worksheet from Enchanted Learning

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We also made our own maps of make believe lands of discovery.

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To better understand how sailor’s found their way at sea, we made our own astrolabe and then learned how to use them.

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Of course, if you’re going  to be a true explorer, you have to be willing to eat salted/dried fish and sea biscuits.   I couldn’t talk the girls into trying the fish, but we did make and eat sea biscuits. (4 parts all purpose flour, 1 part water, salt.  Bake at 250 for 1 hour until golden brown, and hard as a rock.)

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The majority of our printable resources came from the  Explorer Unit Study from Homeschool Share.

Leif Eriksson has been our most popular explorer to date.  Columbus was topping the list until the girls read about his capturing natives and sending them back to Europe as slaves. Ditto for John Cabot, although the mystery surrounding his last voyage did make them feel a bit sorry for him..  Da Gama fell from their graces after reading that he locked 300 Muslim pilgrims in the hull of a ship and then set fire to it, burning them alive.  So yeah, the Vikings rule at this point.

Part 2 of this Unit Study begins next week and will cover Ponce De Leon through Sir Walter Raleigh. Be sure to come back in a few weeks to read up on it.

Library Resources:

Around the World in One Hundred Years From Henry to Magellan; by Jean Fritz
Early Explorers of North America; by C. Keith Wilbur
Leif Eriksson, Viking Explorer; by Joanne Mattern
Before Columbus, the Leif Eriksson Expedition; by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
The Adventures of Marco Polo; by Russell Freedman
In the Footsteps of Marco Polo; DVD
The Travels of Marco Polo; by Alex Bandon
Prince Henry the Navigator, Pioneer of Modern Exploration; by Aileen Gallagher
Christopher Columbus Admiral of the Sea; by Jim Haskins
Christopher Columbus, Across the Ocean Sea; by Janet & Geoffe Benge
Christopher Columbus, From Vision to Voyage; by Joan Anderson
Christopher Columbus; VHS
America Before Christopher Columbus; DVD
Da Gama: Vasco da Gama Sails Around the Cape of Good Hope; by Robin S. Hoak
Vasco da Gama; by Kathleen McFarren
The Life and Times of John Cabot; by Earle Rice, Jr.
John Cabot, Early Explorer; by Wendy Mass
Amerigo Vespucci; by Dennis Brindell Fradin
Amerigo Vespucci, Scientist and Sailor; by Ronald Syme
Latitude and Longitude; by Rebecca Aberg
The Story of Maps and Navigation; by Anita Ganeri

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1 comment:

  1. My daughter is doing explorers this year. Thank you for the resources. They are going to be useful.

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