New
New
Year 1

John Franklin's lost expedition

I can describe John Franklin's attempt to discover the Northwest Passage.

New
New
Year 1

John Franklin's lost expedition

I can describe John Franklin's attempt to discover the Northwest Passage.

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. John Franklin was a British explorer and an admiral in the Navy.
  2. Franklin wanted to find the Northwest Passage, something that no one else had managed to do.
  3. Franklin's two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, were last seen waiting for ice to clear; none of the 129 crew survived.
  4. In 1859, a note was found that revealed the ships had been abandoned, stuck in ice, and that Franklin was dead.

Common misconception

Pupils may think that the oceans are totally distinct, separate bodies of water.

Large bodies of water like oceans and seas are connected by smaller bodies of water like rivers. You can sail from one ocean to another.

Keywords

  • Navy - the Navy is the ships and boats a country uses for fighting

  • Northwest Passage - the Northwest Passage is a northern sea route between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans

  • Pacific Ocean - the Pacific Ocean is the ocean between the Americas and Asia

As we move into seafaring in the 19th century, we have more tangible records including actual photographs and copies of the signature of John Franklin. Use these to really bring John Franklin to life not as a character but as a human from the past.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

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.
Who was a 16th century seafarer?
John Cabot
Zheng He
Correct answer: William Adams
Q2.
Which of these did sailors use in the 16th century? Tick two items.
Correct answer: compass
Correct answer: lead line
canoe
longboat
Q3.
Why is rigging helpful on a ship?
it gives the crew new skills
it makes the masts stronger
Correct answer: it controls the movement of the sails
Q4.
What lies between Europe and the Americas?
Correct answer: Atlantic Ocean
only land
no land, just water
Q5.
Which continent lies to the east of Europe?
Correct answer: Asia
China
America
Q6.
What device can show you if you are travelling north, south, east or west?
calculator
Correct answer: compass
rudder

6 Questions

Q1.
Where was John Franklin from?
Australia
Correct answer: Britain
The Arctic
Q2.
What did John Franklin do as a teenage boy?
go to school
learn to swim
Correct answer: join the Navy
Q3.
Which country did John Franklin spend time living in as a governor?
Correct answer: Australia
Britain
Tasmania
Q4.
Which ocean did John Franklin cross to get to Australia?
Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean
Correct answer: Pacific Ocean
Q5.
Where did John Franklin want to explore most of all?
Pacific Ocean
Correct answer: Northwest Passage
Atalntic Ocean
British coasts
Q6.
How do we know what happened to John Franklin?
Correct answer: After 14 years, a note was found explaining what happened.
John Franklin sent a letter home before he died.
We still do not know what happened to John Franklin.

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