After talking about the many risks and challenges of sailing a small ship across the ocean during the 1500's in search of new lands and trade routes, the fifth graders did an explorer ship craft. It's a simplified version of this project taught by Eleanor Goff. This is my sample:
Explorer Ship Craft
- cardboard tube
- white paint
- construction paper (light blue, dark blue, brown)
- crayons (black, brown)
- glue stick
- craft glue
1. Cut the cardboard tube into rectangles that will be the sails. Paint them white and set them aside to dry.
2. Holding the paper vertically, tear strips off the dark blue construction paper to make the waves. Layer them onto the light blue paper and glue them in place with the glue stick, putting glue just along the bottom portion of each wave section. Bend the tops of the papers forward to simulate rough seas, or keep them flat for calmer seas.
3. Cut two narrow strips (approximately 1/2" wide) from the brown construction paper and set them aside. These are the masts.
4. Draw a ship on the remaining brown construction paper. Start with a basic boat shape, then add a large rectangle on one end and a long, skinny rectangle on the other end. Cut out the ship.
5. Use the brown crayon to draw horizontal lines across the ship. Draw vertical lines on the masts. Use the black crayon to draw a series of circles on the ship. These are the portholes.
6. Glue the ship to the light blue paper, tucking it under the waves. Make the ship fairly level if you chose calm seas, or tilt it significantly if you made rough seas.
7. Glue the sails to the masts. Craft glue works best for this job.
8. Decorate the ship with flags or anything else. Keep it simple, or add lots of details.
Great job, fifth graders!