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Topic - Geography and History

Summer Term Topic

This term our topic is Land Ahoy. The children will be learning all about explorers and pirates. In geography they will be finding out about Sir Francis Drake and the journey he took around the world, identifying the places he visited using maps and learning about compass directions and directional language. In history they will be learning more about the life and achievements of Sir Francis Drake and about some famous pirates from the past. They will be learning about life on board a pirate ship and the different jobs people did on board.

See the Knowledge Organiser below for all the things that children will be learning.

Activity 1  - Sir Francis Drake 

Find out about who Sir Francis Drake was using the links below. Can you make a fact file about him? Include the following information:

  • Where and when he was born?
  • His early life and life at sea
  • His relationship with Elizabeth 1
  • His achievements - places he discovered, circumnavigating the globe, the Spanish Armada
  • When he died?


Can you make a timeline of his life?


Portraits of Sir Francis Drake

Resources to help you : 

Activity 2 - Pirate or Privateer

You have learned a lot about Sir Francis Drake. He was a privateer which is someone who was given permission by the Government to attack and steal from foreign ships.




Goody or Baddy?

Some people think that Drake was a hero and some people think he was a pirate. What do you think? Look at the opinions and evidence on the slides below and make up your mind. Give reasons for your answer.

Activity 3 - Oceans and Continents

You are going to find out more about Sir Francis Drake’s voyages. He was the first person to circumnavigate (that is a big word meaning travel all the way around) the earth.


First we need to find out a bit more about the planet Earth we live on. There are 7 continents and 5 oceans. Listen to the songs that will teach you about them. Then have a look and see if you can find them on the world map. 
Can you label all the continents and oceans on the worksheet?

Seven Continents Song

A song to help kids learn the 7 continents in order from largest to smallest. Subscribe! ➜ NEW RE...

Five Oceans Song

A song to help kids learn the 5 oceans in order from largest to smallest. Subscribe! ➜ NEW REWARD...

Have a go at labelling the continents and oceans on these work sheets.

Activity 4 - Drake’s Voyages

Find out more about Sir Francis Drake’s voyages around the world.

Have a look at the map. Where did he travel? Which continents did he visit? Which oceans did he sail?


Activity 5 - Compass Directions

Find out how to read and use a compass. Most phones have a compass app so ask your parents if they can help you use it. Stand in your front room and see if you can find which direction is north, south, east and west. Point the compass towards the window which direction does your window face?

Can you complete the worksheets below with the compass directions in the correct place. 

Listen to the song to learn about the directions of the compass. They use some mnemonics to help you remember the order of the compass points.






Can you create your own mnemonic?




The Cardinal Directions Song & Video: Rocking the World

This song will help you remember the Cardinal Directions. FIND FREE LYRIC SHEETS, MAPS, AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES AT:

Have a look at these websites and play the games.

Activity 6 - Pirate Life

Find out about about pirates:

  • What was life like as a pirate?
  • What jobs did they do on board ship?
  • What did they eat and drink?
  • What kind of things did pirates steal?
  • How did they attack ships?
Watch the following videos from the National Maritime Museum to find out about life as a Pirate.

Live Like a Pirate

This is "Live Like a Pirate" by National Maritime Museum on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Act like a pirate

This is "Act like a pirate" by National Maritime Museum on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Pirate Objects 

Objects from the past can tell us about what life was like and give us evidence about things that happened.

Look at these pirate objects and talk about :

  • What is it?
  • What is it made out of?
  • What was it used for?
  • What does it tell you about the past?
  • If it is a picture - what can you see? What is happening? What do you think will happen next?

Can you sort the objects into:

1. Things used to attack other ships

2. Things to do with eating and drinking

3. Things that show us what pirates wore

4. Things that pirates stole (loot)

5. Things that help pirates navigate ( find their way)


Activity 7 - Life on Board Ship

There were lots of different jobs to do on a pirate ship. Look at the job description cards on the link below. Then choose a job and write a job description. You can use the template to help you.



Pirate Ship

If you are going to be a pirate it is important to know the names of the different parts of the ship. Look at the picture below and then have a go at labelling the parts of the ship on the worksheet .

Activity 8- Famous pirates

Discover some famous pirates from the past. What can you find out about them from these different sources?

Calico Jack


Calico Jack

This is "Calico Jack" by National Maritime Museum . Find out how the famous English pirate got his name.


The Blackbeard Song | Putrid Pirates | Horrible Histories

Pirate Women

It wasn’t just men who were pirates. Find out about two famous female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Now you have learnt about some famous pirates can you make a wanted poster for your favourite pirate. Have a look at the one below for some ideas.