Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Explorers (1420-1779) Part I: Why?

We are beginning a in-depth study of explorers with the question "Why?" There were so many risks involved with exploration, some real and some imagined.

"Celtic stories often tell tales of creatures with long necks and sharp teeth that attacked boats and seamen." -HTTA New World Explorers

What made these brave people explore uncharted territory despite storms at sea, illness and disease, lack of edible food and drinkable water and other such concerns?
The reasons are many and are as varied as the men who made the journeys, but they can probably be put into a few categories. Homeschool in the Woods makes a very good packet on New World Explorers, and in their sample, they have a nice little lapbook piece on this very question, so I thought I would try it out on my boys to see how they liked it. The first lesson was on the reasons for exploration and has a little lapbook piece to complete.
Most of the activity was gluing appropriate things behind the flaps.

Under this flap...

we glued pumpkin pie spice.

Under this flap...

we glued plastic "gems" and a put in a brad for gold.

Under this flap, they suggested we glue dirt. That sounded a little too messy for my taste. Some drew their own ideas...

and other glued in pieces of maps.

Under this flap...

we glued a foam cross.

Under the last flap...

I had them draw their ideas of adventure.

After we finished this activity,Quentin was inspired to make a little explorer's ship out of one of the gold walnut shells we had leftover from New Year's...

including a treasure chest with gold!

You might also want to start a pirates lapbook to use along with the activities we will be doing. You can find a good (and free!) one at Dynamic 2 Moms.


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  2. That reminds me that I wanted to make walnut ships.

    I always remembered from my world history class as their reasons are: Gold, God, and Glory (in that order).

  3. Anonymous5.1.11

    i love this!

  4. I just really love all of the things you guys do. That's one of the most fun looking lapbooks I've ever seen. I was also looking at your Twelfth Night festivities - so fun! And BTW...this is random...everytime I look at your blog, your son Alex makes me think of James Franco, the actor.

  5. Awesome! Looking forward to reading your post on this unit. Thank you for sharing.

  6. This is going to be one great unit study. Thank you for linking up.

  7. I am sure the boys will love the explorers unit. I can't wait to study explorers when daughter is older. Of course then she will be "in real school" and might not be as interested. Your flaps are so creative.

  8. Organizing my explorer's unit, and so was back at these posts again, and thought I'd say hi!


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