Tudors & Stuarts: Explorers – Introduction and Resources

explorer's age button

Hear ye, hear ye…

I made a scroll to read out to the children during our first lesson, calling them to become Tudor Explorers extraordinaire.  I was hoping to hook their enthusiasm early on in our study and I wasn’t disappointed.  A6 and I made the scroll by printing out the words in old English text, soaking the paper in tea, drying it in the oven and singeing the edges:

Ribbet collageexplorers1


We will be learning about the Exploration Age alongside our Continent studies.  I have been collecting resources from charity shops and library sales for the past year and it is these books we will use as our spine:




I have also bought in Homeschool in the Woods Tudor Explorer unit.  This unit uses either lap booking or notebooking (or both):


Although we won’t be using this exactly as it is meant to be used (when do I ever?) we will be using it as and when it fits in with the means we are using to record our learning (more later in the post).

I will be purchasing some of the following books for each explorer we choose to do an in depth study on:


Hands On Mapping

You guys know how much I love my paper mache maps, right?  So when the wood we ordered to create desks for the children arrived in a huge card board box I immediately knew it would be perfect to create a huge map of the world, adding features to it as we learnt along the way.  Below is the map we made for our Marco Polo explorer study.  We mapped out the route he took as we read his book describing his adventures:

A close up of the route we have taken so far (The same route Marco Polo took!)

We will be going bigger (and better) with one measuring over three meters long!

Recording our learning

As we have so much learning to fit into our schooling weeks (as opposed to our unschooling weeks), I have tried to come up with a variety of interesting ways for the children to record their learning.  They are already writing a magazine for Cover Story, some essays for their Continent Studies and writing a curriculum to be used for elementary students for their project based learning on the Tudors.  I wanted to come up with such a fun idea that they would not feel overwhelmed by too much work and that they would choose to do rather than me having to persuade them (!).

To this end we are going to write a travel journal with a twist.  It won’t be your run of the mill journal, but an art journal.  We are going to art journal our way across the world!  I have purchased some blank post cards, copied and printed all sorts of stamps (although I do realise there was no such thing as stamps or postcards in Tudor times), baggage labels, some international letter envelopes and some lovely vintage travel themed scrap booking paper.  We will also make full use of the printables which come with the Homeschool in the Woods curriculum:


In addition I will print them out a bit of fun in the form of a fake pass port.  I have got a date stamper which I intend to use in addition to stamping the page with the country they have visited in their exploring.  The littles will have their passport from their continent studies and I didn’t want my big children feeling left out….

This is going to be a great year for us!



  1. Everthing sounds/looks really nice, but the idea of making and stamping own passports is fabulous! I love it! Thanks for sharing, Claire!

  2. I like the journals…so much potential for creative expression. But, I can’t believe you’ve been collecting books for a year! I have a tendency to grab what I can as we go. I stand in awe of your organizational skills, and depth of focus 🙂 It sounds like another fantastic study in the works.

    1. The only reason it is over the year is because we tend to buy second hand and therefore need to spend longer searching for appropriate books. I’d love to be a bit more swing by the seat of my pants kind of girl but I’m just not, so I plan (although it is a rather haphazard sort of planning)

    1. Thanks Rebecca. Even T, who isn’t that interested in art readily agreed to this – although I guess that could be because there is limited writing required in an art journal!

  3. It’s so lovely to see your younger ones starting to get involved in your wonderful history teaching, Claire! All sounds very exciting, I look forward to following along!

  4. Great ideas! I am looking forward to seeing how it all goes. I think your art journal will be very interesting. (I still want to make a map! One of these days.) More than anything, I love how you use so many books. I think I’d rather buy books than anything else.

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