New
New
Year 1

How Polynesian explorers travelled and navigated

I can describe how the early Polynesians sailed across the ocean.

New
New
Year 1

How Polynesian explorers travelled and navigated

I can describe how the early Polynesians sailed across the ocean.

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Some of the earliest seaborne explorers were a group of people known as Polynesians.
  2. A long time ago Polynesians spread across the Pacific Ocean using canoes that they built.
  3. These canoes had to have a strong hull and sail to travel across the ocean.
  4. The Polynesians navigated to new islands by watching the waves and the paths of sea creatures.

Common misconception

Pupils may think that Polynesia is a country.

Polynesia is not one single country. It is a large area of the Pacific Ocean containing lots of different islands.

Keywords

  • Hull - a boat's hull is its stiff outer shell

  • Ocean - an ocean is a very large body of salt water

  • Navigate - when people control where their ship is going, they are navigating

  • Sail - a sail is a large piece of cloth attached to a boat that uses the wind to help the boat move

Display a large world map on the board to show pupils where in the world the Pacific Ocean and the Polynesian islands are.
Teacher tip

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which word describes a person that travels to places that they have never been before?
sailor
passenger
seafarer
Correct answer: explorer
Q2.
How did early explorers know which way to go?
They used maps of the land around them.
Correct answer: They followed natural features like rivers.
They asked for directions from other people.
Q3.
Early explorers only travelled by foot.
True
Correct answer: False
Q4.
How do we know early humans used canoes?
Correct answer: The Pesse Canoe is an example of a canoe made by early humans.
Early humans had no other types of transport.
Early humans had to travel on rivers so they must have had a boat.
Q5.
Choose the correct word to complete the sentence. Early explorers carved out the inside of tree trunks to make canoes. This left a __________ space inside the canoe where they would stand.
big
Correct answer: hollow
small
wide
Q6.
Why did early explorers travel to new places?
Correct answer: To find new animals to hunt for food
To have a rest and relax on a break
To learn a new language
To find better shelter from bad weather

6 Questions

Q1.
What do we call a large piece of cloth attached to a boat?
flag
Correct answer: sail
hull
cotton
Q2.
What is the hard outer shell of a boat called?
deck
wood
Correct answer: hull
mast
Q3.
What does a navigator do?
Correct answer: Find a way from one place to another
Go travelling in new places
Sail a ship across the sea
Q4.
What do we call a very large area of saltwater?
river
sea
Correct answer: ocean
lake
Q5.
What did Polynesian explorers use to help them to navigate?
Correct answer: stars
rivers
Correct answer: clouds
maps
Correct answer: sea creatures
Q6.
What was special about the canoes that Polynesian explorers used?
They were made from special trees.
Correct answer: They had a strong hull and sails.
They were very expensive.
They were painted bright colours.

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