CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 19 . . . . May 27, 2005
four-volume set of biographies will be greatly appreciated by social
studies teachers. They are all well crafted, and each contains a treasure
chest of information which students will find interesting and challenging.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, many explorer-adventurers came to
North America, hoping to find riches and glory. The four explorers
studied in this series are all premier figures in the early history
of Canadian exploration and are representative of English, French
and Italian endeavors in the New World. Each made important contributions:
John Cabot was the first European to set foot in Canada since the
Vikings; Cartier sailed down the St. Lawrence, Hudson explored Hudson
Strait, Hudson's Bay and the coast of the United States, Champlain
established the first permanent settlements in Canada, eventually
became colonial governor and is generally known by the sobriquet,
"Father of New France." We know a little about the early
life of the Cabot who was a merchant, expert navigator and mapmaker.
Very little is known about the early lives of Cartier, Hudson and
Champlain. Students will learn that they were all born in small seaport
towns and aspired to life at sea. They all became master navigators
and captains and received commissions from their kings or the fledgling
trading companies before setting sail for the New World with only
the rudimentary navigational tools of the day. Life, students learn,
was hard and extraordinarily dangerous on the small leaky ships the
explorers used to ply the frigid waters of the North Atlantic and
the Arctic. Students are given a great deal of information on the
ships and the horrid conditions in which the sick, scared and often
mutinous sailors worked and were forced to experience. The volumes
contains a table of contents, a timeline of important dates and events
related to the specific explorer profiled in the volume as well as
the general exploration of the new world, a glossary of terms, an
activity such as making hardtack, a compass, or a rutter, websites
and a glossary of terms. The combination of excellent illustrations
and massive amounts of supremely interesting information makes this
set of books highly recommendable.
Ian Stewart teaches at David Livingstone School in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.