Essential Information

Key Stage Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2
School Subject History, Literacy
Resource Type Classroom activity

Stories from the sea: Exploration

Welcome to the exciting world of exploration, full of adventure, danger and strange discoveries - and plenty of fodder for great story-writing.

Get to grips with all the stages of an exploration expedition, from preparing to leave, through the journey, encounters with unfamiliar people and places, to the legacy of exploration. 

Stories from the Sea supports teachers to develop children’s skills in writing by inspiring them to explore our local and national maritime past through world-class museum collections of objects, paintings and manuscripts, intriguing stories and unforgettable characters. 

Exploration Activities

In these activities apply to join an expedition, create your own new world, describe what you find and write songs to keep your spirits up.

Apply to join an Expedition
Create a new world
Describe an unfamiliar animal
Exploration Songs
Writing about a mystery

Exploration objects and images

Use these objects and images to talk about exploration and inspire writing. Each object has some background information and questions and activities to respond to as well.

Exploration Objects

Museums and Galleries hold incredible objects from around the world. Click on the files below to learn more

Polar People and Explorers
Pacific Exploration
Amazing Objects

Explorers booklist 

The Ice Trap! Shackleton’s Incredible Expedition by Meredith Hooper

Tom Crean's Rabbit: A True Story from Scott's Last Voyage by Meredith Hooper

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris

Pedro's Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus by Pam Conrad

Explorers Who Got Lost by Diane Sansevere Dreher

Magellan's World by Stuart Waldman

Beyond the Sea of Ice: The Voyages of Henry Hudson by Joan Elizabeth Goodman

Stowaway by Karen Hesse

A Long and Uncertain Journey: The 27,000 Mile Voyage of Vasco de Gama by Joan Goodman

Anacaona: Golden Flower, Haiti, 1490: The Royal Diaries by Edwidge Danticat

Quest by Kathleen Benner Duble

The Sea King: Sir Francis Drake and His Times by Albert Marrin

The World Made New: When the Age of Exploration Happened and How it Changed the World by Marc Aronson and John W. Glenn

Polar Adventures by Paul Dowswell

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong

Ice Story: Shackleton’s Lost Expedition by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Trapped by the Ice!: Shackleton’s Amazing Antarctic Adventure by Michael McCurdy


Explorers links

Twinkl - Arctic explorers role play primary activities

Salariya web books - You wouldn't want to be a polar explorer

TeachIt primary - Explorers project pack

Teachers pet - displays - Famous explorer information posters

Explorers and leaders fact files (National Maritime Museum)

Polar Explorers (polar expedition guiding company)

Partners and supporters

Stories from the Sea is a partnership between the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth. The resource is funded by Arts Council England’s Museums and Schools programme.