Renaissance: Tudor Explorers – Ships and Sea Monsters

explorer's age button


The children read the information which came with Homeschooling in the Woods.  This included ship anatomy, sea faring sayings and their meanings, ship and sailor vocabulary as well as a sea chantey Blow the Man Down:


I also gave them the following books I bought in a library sale:


Ship Anatomy

Using the ship pictures from Homeschooling in the Woods the children labelled them with their new found knowledge:


Building a ship like Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria

This was just a bit of fun that we all got in on.  I built the main box of the ship with the little one’s.  In fact we were building a sledge to go along with our FIAR studies.  It wasn’t difficult to tweak it a little to make it perfect for being both a boat and a sledge.

T13 built the two masts and their base, whilst the girls and I made some sails, painting them the same colours and patterns as Columbus’ ship the Santa Maria (we are currently doing an explorer study on Christopher Columbus)

santa maria



Ribbet collageships

Sea Monsters Legends 

The explorers of Tudor times were bombarded with tales of an Atlantic filled with imaginary beasts.  These sea monsters were described with relish and pictured on the maps of the day:

Ribbet collagesea monsters1

We had a book which the children had already read but they happily reread the pages on sea monsters:

Ribbet collageships

I asked the girls to create their own sea monster which they did with relish, even naming it and giving some ‘legendary’ facts about them:

Ribbet collageseamonster2

Ribbet collageseamonsters3

Captain’s Log Book

The girls made a captain’s log book so we could keep a log of our travels once we eventually leave the shores for our big adventure.  They soaked card in coffee and left to dry in the sun.  C12 sewed the sheets together in a book:

Ribbet collageLOGBOOK3

And L12 wrote out a sea chantey to go inside, using a feather ink pen and ink:

Ribbet collageLOGBOOK1

Ribbet collageLOGBOOK2

We decorated the front cover:

Ribbet collageLOGBOOK4


The excitement is building, we are almost ready to set sail!


  1. Love the ship. I’m tempted to make one for my littles and we’re not even studying this time period! LOL

  2. Looks like everyone is really enjoying your explorer study. Love the littles in their ship. The sea monsters are s c a r y! Great job, girls. As always, I love how you incorporate so many books into your studies.
    I hope you have had a lovely day. We are enjoying beautiful spring weather in Texas.

  3. So much creative goodness in this post – your kids surely will never get bored with their history lessons. I want to come play in your boat and draw sea monster! (That sea shanty is now stuck in my head, but I don’t think I mind)

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