A lot happened in England and around the world between 1754 when the Seven Years War began, 1770 when Captain Cook sailed to the Great Southern Land and 1788 and we’re going to spend some of our Inquiry lessons this week finding out about it.

Together we’ll watch YouTube…

Now all the important events need to get put onto a timeline. Here are some of the events you need to put on…

1754 – 1763 – 7 Years’ War

1768 – 1771- Captain Cook sails to Tahiti and opens his secret orders to look for Terra Australis Incognita and to claim it for Great Britain.

1775 – 1783 – American War of Independence – the American Colonies want to be independent from England.

1783 – England can no longer send convicts to the American Colonies. The prisons and hulks begin to overflow.

1786 – King George proclaims the Colony of NSW for England

1786 – Parliament in England are told that Lord Sydney has agreed to send convicts to NSW.

13/05/1787 – The eleven ships of the First Fleet set sail under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip.

18/01/1788 – The fleet arrive in Botany Bay

26/01/1788 – The First Fleet is moved to Port Jackson and settle in Sydney Cove because they were not impressed with Botany Bay. The 26th of January is still celebrated as Australia Day.




Tuesday’s inquiry lesson focuses on looking at the maps made by the early Dutch explorers to see how their explorations had a big impact on world discoveries. Have a look at chapters 1, 2 and 3 and make sure you READ the text and questions on the left hand side of each chapter.!/digibook/1594262/mapping-the-australian-coast


Now, have a think about YOUR explorer. What impact did their journeys have on the world? What places were discovered? What things happened because your explorer was busy sailing around finding new places?


Some reading about…


A long time ago, back before there were cars or planes or computers, a small boy called Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, which is a city in Italy.

It was 1451 and no one (except possibly his mum) knew it then but this boy was going to grow up to do some really important things.

Even when he was little, Christopher was interested in sailing and when he was fourteen he got a job on a merchant ship. Later that ship was attacked by pirates but Christopher got away by floating to shore on a scrap of wood. Once he’d dried himself off and got himself together he set off to study mathematics (we all know what that is), astronomy (the study of the sun, moon, stars and planets) and navigation (working out where you are and how to get where you want to go). These things would be very handy for Christopher when he was older.

Christopher thought that there were great riches to be found in Asia and that he could sail straight there by crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Actually he was wrong about this but that just goes to show that, even when you make mistakes, you can still end up doing great things.

When Christopher was in a market he met a man who sold him a map. This map was great inspiration to Christopher for he was sure it didn’t show every piece of land that existed. Christopher very bravely decided that he would sail off the edge of the map and see if he could find Asia.

Christopher knew that big journeys like the one he wanted to go on cost money. He tried to convince the King of Portugal to give him money for his journey but the King was not interested in handing his money over so Christopher went to see the King of Spain. He told the King of Spain that he strongly believed the world was round, not flat, and that he thought he would find India and China if he sailed west. The King thought this was a great idea and he must’ve had a fair bit of spare money because he gave Christopher the funds he needed and Christopher set off, with his crew and three ships.

Christopher’s brave journey was not an easy one though. Lots of his crew thought he was going to sail them off the edge of the world and they threatened mutiny (this is when the crew refuse to do what the Captain says and take charge of the ship). Christopher told the crew that they would turn back if they didn’t find land in three days. Luckily they found it in two days. Talk about cutting it a bit fine!

Christopher and his crew sailed their ships towards some land that Christopher thought was India but it was actually a small island in the Bahamas, which is part of the Americas. If you look on the world map you’ll see that the Bahamas is just down below the United States and quite near Cuba.

One of Christopher’s ships, the Santa Maria, was wrecked but Christopher took the other two ships and returned to Spain where he was treated like a hero. He showed them the turkeys and pineapples he found and even some of the natives that he had captured. (We’re not sure what the natives thought about this but they probably weren’t very happy.)

Christopher Columbus made three voyages to the Americas and did quite a bit more exploring around that area. He died in 1506 aged 55 and even when he died he still thought he’d discovered a shortcut to Asia. Even though he hadn’t, he is still famous now, over 500 years later for ‘discovering’ America.


Some tips to starting your own explorer story…

  • Don’t try to put ALL your information in, especially in your first draft. Just stick the basics.
  • Get your mind ready to tell the story by finding a partner who does not know about your particular explorer and telling them some of the things you have found out, such as…
  • When were they born and where?
  • Can you find out anything about their childhood?
  • What inspired them to be an explorer?
  • Where did they get their money from?
  • What adventures and misadventures did they have?
  • Where on the world map is the place they sailed from and where is the place they discovered?
  • How did your explorer die?
  • What words might you need to look up and give the definitions for?



Your task now is to choose one of those explorers you’ve read about and begin to really crack open the case. Who were they? When did they travel? Why did they travel?

Your success criteria for this task is to:

  • identify a significant explorer
  • identify when they travelled
  • identify where they explored/navigated
  • identify why they explored/navigated
  • identify how they explored/navigated

Put this information into your Reader’s Notebook to get started. Later you will think about how you’re going to share this information with your class and others.