Adventure on the High Seas ~ Explorers & Pirates

Our year in the Middle Ages is coming to a close (only  5 weeks left!).  To culminate our study, we will take to the seas and learn about explorers and pirates.

We will briefly cover some of the big names from the Age of Discovery:
  • Marco Polo
  • da Gama
  • Vespucci
  • Balboa
  • Magellan
  • Ponce de Leon
  • Cook
  • (Columbus will have to wait until we study Early American History)

Our Spine Books for this portion of our study :

Product Details
Explorers of the New World: Discover the Golden Age of Exploration with 22 Projects (Build It Yourself series)

Explorer Notebooking Activities:
  • mapping 
  • timeline
  • sketching explorer clothing & ships' banners
  • sea-faring poetry copy work (resources here & here)
  • a biography page each explorer

We will also be studying the history of pirates, both fact and fiction, and how their presence on the seas affected the explorers and other travelers.

Our approach to Pirate Study will be based on location.  We will look at pirate activity in the following:

  • The Spanish Main (Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea)
  • The Mediterranean
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Eastern Seas (Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea, East & South China Seas)
  • Vikings 
  • Modern Pirates

Options for Pirate Study Spine Book:

Look for books that cover the who, what, when, were and how of  pirates in different regions of the world.  Book(s) should cover topics such as infamous pirates, ship & weapons designs, and strategy & tactics. It will also be helpful to study nautical terms.

We will study each pirate region for 1 week, but you could stretch this out over several weeks or a month.

Notebooking activities will include:

  • mapping 
  • sketching weapons & ships
  • sea-faring poetry copy work (resources here & here)
  • a biography page on a famous pirate for each section

And because I am a BIG fan of good historical fiction, we will also read this book during our study:


Lawson's books tend to be rather wordy, so I recommend them as read-alouds.  They are very funny and give an uncommon, albeit fanciful, perspective on familiar events.

All hands on deck & set sail!


Part 2 ~ Explorers
Part 3 ~ Pirates


Popular Posts