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Teacher Quick Picks - Explorers


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The Adventures of Marco Polo, Russell Freedman

An account of the life and travels of Marco Polo that also addresses the controversy among historians over how much of his travel writings were factual.

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Exploration and Conquest: The Americas After Columbus,                          Betsy and Giulio Maestro

European efforts to explore and lay claim to the “New World.”
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Explorer, Rupert Matthews

Facts, photos, maps, and more cover the history of exploration from early civilizations to space travel.
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Explorers, Carlotta Hacker

Profiles of six women explorers.



Lewis and Clark and Me: A Dog’s Tale, Laurie Myers

Meriwether Lewis’ dog Seaman accompanied his master on his expedition, and this story, based on the explorer’s actual journal, is imagined from the dog’s point of view.
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The Look-It-Up Book of Explorers, Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

An easy-to-use and up-to-date collection of explorer biographies.
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Marco Polo for Kids, Janis Herbert

This book about Marco Polo’s fantastic journey includes interesting cultural details and several hands-on extension activities.



Onward, Dolores Johnson

Fascinating biography of Matthew Henson, an African-American explorer who went to the North Pole with Robert E. Peary. Includes dozens of archival photographs.
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Scholastic Atlas of Exploration, Dinah Starkey

Colorfully illustrated history of explorers organized by ages of exploration.



Stowaway, Karen Hesse

Fictionalized account of an actual eleven-year-old boy’s adventures aboard the ship of famous explorer Captain James Cook.
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The World Made New, Marc Aronson and John W. Glenn

A well-researched and beautifully illustrated book about the impact that the meeting of explorers and native civilizations in the Americas had on the world. Back material includes a biographical dictionary and suggested websites for teachers and young readers.

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Audio-Visual Material


America’s Explorers and Pioneers

An outline of the exploration of the North American continent from the Just the Facts Learning series with an on-screen teacher guide and multiple choice quiz.
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The Discovery of the Americas, Betsy and Giulio Maestro

A children's video adaptation of a book by Betsy and Giulio Maestro detailing the journeys of New World explorers before and after Columbus.



Links to Internet Web Sites

Discoverers Web

While very basic in design, this website is packed with well-organized information about individual explorers and subjects. One unique feature is a list of explorers who died during their voyages, emphasizing the risky nature of trying to discover something new.


Mariners' Museum

Wonderful online exhibit on explorers, their ships, navigation tools, and voyages. Additional information on life at sea, map-making, and the global exchange of cultures, plant, animals, and disease.



Find information on individual explorers by name, part of the world, or historic period on this Enchanted Learning webpage. A glossary of exploration terms is another useful feature.


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