Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance

Viewing Ideas

Map of Shackleton's routes around South Georgia Island

Before Watching

  1. Have students locate Antarctica in an atlas and identify the following locations featured in the program: South Georgia Island, the Weddell Sea, Elephant Island, and Punta Arenas, Chile.

  2. Shackleton's leadership is legendary. To help students see how his leadership traits are played out by real-life decisions, assign students to groups to take notes on Shackleton's decisions regarding the following: daily life; food distribution; the journey's progress; and crew morale.

  3. To help students understand some of the decisions Shackleton had to make, have them do the Weighty Decisions activity before watching.

After Watching

  1. Ask students to identify Shackleton's key decisions during the expedition. (Some decisions may emerge in more than one category.) List all of the decisions on the chalkboard and have students identify the 10 most valuable ones. (You may want to use the Timely Decisions poster in the center of this guide to help students with their lists.) As a class, have students group the decisions into traits (for example, choosing crew members based not just on experience but also on personality, representing good team building). Which traits do students think are most important for a leader faced with life-threatening decisions? Why?

  2. The men on this journey at times faced incredible psychological and physical hardships. Have students make a timeline highlighting some of those crisis points and note how Shackleton handled them.

Teacher's Guide
Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance