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Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance
Lesson Plans

Use these lesson plans to help your students understand more about Ernest Shackleton's leadership, what the Antarctic is like, how sailors can determine their latitude at night, and the nutritional value of an Antarctic meal.

Lesson plan to accompany NOVA's Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance program:
Weighty Decisions: Students decide what to rescue from the sinking Endurance and compare those decisions to ones made by Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Additional lessons that can be used with Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance:
The Coldest Place at the Bottom of the World: Students use longitude and latitude coordinates to trace and estimate the miles on Shackleton's actual and intended polar journeys, describe the altitude changes across the continent, and compare Antarctica to their own state.

Icebergs Ahead!: Students make miniature icebergs, float them in water, expose them to the sun, and compare them to a floating cork stopper. Students also estimate the amount of drift ice around Antarctica.

A Meal of Endurance: Students analyze the nutritional value of three meals representative of the food Shackleton's men ate as their journey progressed, and compare them to their own daily diet.

Let the North Star Tell You Where You Are: Students make their own astrolabe, use it to sight the star Polaris, and determine their latitude.
For more lesson plans on Antarctica and Shackleton's voyage, you can download the giant-screen Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure Teacher's Guide.

About the authors

"Weighty Decisions"
Jim Sammons has been a teacher for more than 30 years, most recently teaching middle school science at Jamestown School in Rhode Island. He is currently conducting research in planetary geology.

"The Coldest Place at the Bottom of the World"
"Iceberg Ahead!"
"A Meal of Endurance"
"Let the North Star Tell You Where You Are"
Reen Gibb currently teaches at Brookline High School in Massachusetts, where she has been for 20 years. Her teaching experience includes secondary and middle school biology, secondary school physics, and college and secondary school chemistry. Ms. Gibb also teaches in the Education Department at Wellesley College and works as a consultant for a Boston University Science Foundation grant that focuses on using the computer as a virtual laboratory in the chemistry classroom.

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