Each subject guide has its own difficulties. In this case it is finding accessible information for a younger age group and the fact that I am not a primary school teacher! Would love some feedback!
What is missing from this map?
The journey(s) of AT LEAST ONE world navigator, explorer or trader up to the late eighteenth century, including their contacts with other societies and any impacts.
Elaborations (these are not compulsory)
There is a LOT of scope here. For the purposes of this guide I will provide broader exploration hints and links and then focus on Christopher Columbus. Others could be easily explored through following the links in the general section.
Key search terms –( European) Explorers, Age of Exploration/Discovery, names of Explorers/Navigators
Where would I start with Year 4? With a picture story book! Check out your library catalogue or these links for ideas-
In terms of historical information, start with the encyclopedias that you have access to through your school or local library (get your students to join!). World Book and Encyclopedia Britannica have age appropriate sections, multimedia links and even the option of the text being read aloud.
Search terms – Biographies, or use Exploration, Navigators or name of explorer (eg Christopher Columbus etc)
My Favourite Site – Tudor Exploration provides a fun, interactive experience on exploration.
RECOMMENDED by a user of this blog is Student’s guide to the Age of Exploration http://www.venere.com/blog/articles/students-guide-to-the-age-of-exploration.html
Who Goes There: European Exploration of the New World This site was built by students of Bartlett Elementary school in 2000, whilst it is not cutting edge in terms of format it is easy to use, although, it would probably suit more able Year 4 students . Why did Europeans explore during the Age of Exploration in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries? Find out when you join our voyage of exploration along with famous Portuguese, Spanish, English, and French explorers. Hear them tell their stories through interviews, autobiographies, biographies, and journals. http://library.thinkquest.org/J002678F/welcome.htm
KidPast.com from the KidsKnowIt Network, KidsPast.com is packed with articles from early man, to recent historical events. It has an extensive, easy to read section on exploration. BUT, it is full of distracting advertisements. http://www.kidspast.com/world-history/0306-exploration-expansion.php
The Mariners Museum has a very informative site on the age of exploration covering biographies, maps, tools of navigation etc. Some of the information would be accessible for Year 4 but other sections are very text dense. http://ageofex.marinersmuseum.org/index.php
Historical maps of discovery ( Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse) Useful to show the known world http://etc.usf.edu/maps/galleries/multi/complete/index.php?pageNum_Recordset1=0&totalRows_Recordset1=316
Interactive Travel Maps (GOOD Magazine) Click on the explorer to find where they went and some basic information. http://awesome.good.is/features/011/Wanderlust/index.html
European Voyages of Exploration (Univ. of Calgary) Not suitable for students. Good if teachers or parents want to learn more. http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/eurvoya/index.html
Voyage of Exploration : Discovering New Horizons is another student written thinkquest webpage. It follows in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest explorers, reliving their adventurous expeditions into the unknown. http://library.thinkquest.org/C001692/
Age of Exploration Links from AP Euro History –list and links would need a thorough review before you passed them onto Year 4. Would be good for older students http://www.historyteacher.net/APEuroCourse/WebLinks/WebLinks-AgeOfExploration.html
Enchanted learning provides brief biographies of explorers associated with Australia http://www.enchantedlearning.com/explorers/australia.shtml
Royal Museums Greenwich provide quality, brief information on many aspects of maritime history. http://www.rmg.co.uk/explore/sea-and-ships/facts/explorers-and-leaders/
Queensland Maritime Museumprovides a good resource supporting primary teachers in this topic http://www.maritimemuseum.com.au/pdf/middle%20primary%20module%20-%20Maritime%20Explorers%20and%20Navigators.pdf
State Library of NSW provides this excellent resource on the Great South Land. With teacher assistance it would be useful. http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/discover_collections/history_nation/voyages/index.html
The BBC has a number of useful sites. In order
Christopher Columbus and his legacy – for teachers and parents. Not suitable for Year 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/tudors/columbus_legacy_01.shtml
Christopher Columbus—Extracts from Journal – students would need masses of help! http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/columbus1.html
Ahoy Columbus! A Cyberhunt. The activity looks approachable for Year 4 although I am not that sure about the references.
There are a number of useful videos that your school library should be able to get through Clickview or similar. Schools also have a different copyright situation to me (as they pay money to use/record etc as an educational institution).
On YouTube you will find various useful videos including
Turning Points in History – Age of Exploration, Uploaded by AllHistories on Sep 29, 2009, A short three minute introduction to exploration.
Horrible Histories Series 4 Ep6 Part1 Christopher Columbus discovers the Caribbean islands in 1492, but he was a little confused. I love Horrible Histories – they do have their own Youtube Channel and it is currently on ABC3 in Australia
AHC ~ Christopher Columbus ~ Full video uploaded by theAHCchannel on Nov 13, 2011 In this program, learn about Christopher Columbus. With determination, this starry-eyed young man’s dream of reaching China ends with the discovery of a new world
Assignment Discovery: Christopher Columbus Describes the routes of Christopher Columbus voyages. http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/assignment-discovery-christopher-columbus.html Dry, possibly difficult but short (see associated videos on Magellan etc)
The Age of Exploration [Part 1 of 3] http://www.watchknowlearn.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=16366&CategoryID=4159
Games and activities
Australian Maritime Museum http://www.anmm.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1501
Heavens! My Ship! Not sure about this resource – I haven’t played it. It is from Canada. A game to travel through the 17th century in search of one of the great explorers of New France. With the help of period maps, ancient engravings and excerpts from his stories, relive the epic of this valiant character. Highly interactive, this elaborate game with its splendid computer graphics saves your game to leave you time to learn. http://maf.mcq.org/jeux/aaciel/
East India Company – Why were traders willing to risk their lives? Did they make money? Play these games and find out.
Mr Donn is always useful games and activities on topics http://worldhistory.mrdonn.org/explorers.html
Want to teach your students about the problems of researching on the internet?
Check out http://allaboutexplorers.com/ this web site, which contains fictional biographies of world explorers, and a series of lessons designed to introduce students to the idea that the Internet is a less reliable source of information than print sources, and while there is an abundance of information available at our fingertips, researchers need to think critically about the facts found there.