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An Explorer's Virtual Sea Chest

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Keywords: photostory, technology, digital story telling, Explorer, Explorers
Subject(s): Social Studies, History
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Princess Anne Middle School, Virginia Bch, VA
Planned By: Wendy Anoia
Original Author: Wendy Anoia, Virginia Bch
An Explorer's Virtual Sea Chest

Essential Questions: What are the consequences of cultural interaction?

How do the actions of individuals influence the outcome of events?

You were hired as a crewmember of a ship that belonged to a famous explorer. One aspect of your job required you to document the voyage and create a virtual sea chest to document the explorer’s findings in the new land. All of the items were stored in the sea chest for “safekeeping” and presentation. By the magic of a time machine, you have been brought to the present time to recount that magnificent voyage using modern-day technological communication tools.

For this activity, gathering evidence will be a matter of research and creativity. Research materials should include books, maps, diaries, and other primary and secondary source documents. When you have returned from your “time machine voyage,” your group will present your findings before the monarch and royal court by creating a virtual multi-media personal narrative using Photo Story 3.0 for Windows. Your presentation will use pictures, narration, and possibly background music.

Date of voyage: _______________

The following list details items that you should include in the virtual sea chest presentation:

MAP: a map of the voyage from the sponsoring country to the area of discovery

MOTIVATIONS: a description about why the explorer embarked on this voyage (Monologue? Song? Ballad?)

OBSTACLES: a visual presentation of the obstacles encountered on the journey and an explanation about why these created challenges for the explorer and his crew

ACHIEVEMENTS: an “award” with citations about the explorer’s achievements—specifically telling about the areas he explored and the long term results (be creative—it could be a scroll, a medal, a flag…) Hint: Think “If this explorer had not done this, what would be different?”

EVIDENCE OF CULTURAL INTERACTION: Out-of-the-ordinary artifacts about interesting or unusual things the explorer found or about exciting proceedings that occurred during the voyage which are proof of the effect of cultural interaction. Minimum requirement: two items with a detailed description of the artifacts and how they show contact and exchanges between the different culture groups (European and Native American).

EXTRAS: What types of things could add to your presentation? Pictures of the ship? Paintings of the captain? Pictures of primary source documents you used?

Group Members:
1. ________________________________________________________________

2. ________________________________________________________________

3. ________________________________________________________________

Assigngroup members to take the lead on completing a part of the sea chest. Determine what needs to be done. Keep a log of the progress that is being made on each part and what each person is doing to contribute to the success of the group. ALL members should participate in the research and presentation components.

Research Map Motivations Obstacles Achieve-ments Evidence Pictures-StoryBoard Narration

Explored for the Portuguese:
• Bartolomeu Dias (1487-1488)
• Vasco da Gama (1497-1498)
• Pedro Alvares Cabral (1500-1501)

Explored for the Spanish:
• *Christopher Columbus (Italian by birth, but sailed for Spain) (1492-1493)
• Juan Ponce de Leon (1513)
• Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1513)
• Ferdinand Magellan (Portuguese by birth, but sailed for Spain) (1519-1521/1522)
• *Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (1540-1542)
• Hernando de Soto (1540)

Explored for the English:
• *John Cabot (1496-1497)
• Sir Walter Raleigh (1584 and 1587)
• Henry Hudson 1610-1611 (also sailed for the Dutch 1607-1609)

Explored for the French:
• Giovanni da Verrazzano (Italian by birth, but sailed for the French) (1524)
• Jacques Cartier (1534, 1535-1536, 1541-1542)
• *Samuel de Champlain (1608-1609)
• Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet (1673-1674)
• *Robert La Salle (1682-1687)

* indicates starred item in VBOs
Students love this actvity. It allows them to be very creative with technology.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This activity can also be accomplished within an English class since students are creating stories. Technology Education classes would also benefit from the Explorer's Sea Chest.
Students will present the Explorer's Virtual Sea Chest to class. As each group presents the Explorer's Virtual Sea Chest, the class will take notes on a graphic orgainzer for each explorer. Each Explorer's Virtual Sea Chest will also be posted on a wiki space.
Materials: Microphones, Headsets
Other Items: 30 Stero Headsets/microphones, $14.99 each, total of $449.70
30 Lexar- Jump Driven USB , $16.99 each, total of $509.70