Lesson 2: Sailing

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • What methods did sailors have for survival on the seas?

Facts and Definitions

  • Navigation is to direct the course of a ship.
  • A fathom measures depth; 1 fathom= 6 feet.
  • A knot is used to measure how fast a boat travels.
  • A league is three nautical miles. (A nautical mile is about 800 feet longer than a mile on land.)


  • Distinguish between various types of maps and globes. (SS)
  • Use cardinal and intermediate directions to locate places. (SS)
  • Identify and use the compass rose. (SS)


  • 1 sewing needle about 1 inch long
  • journal
  • parchment paper* (Activity 1 - optional)
  • small bar magnet
  • small cup of water
  • small piece of cork
  • world map

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed


Tell your child that today she is going to learn more about sailing and navigation. Ask your child if she has ever been on a boat and if she remembers how the boat was steered. Discuss the fact that the sailors had to understand sailing and directions in order to survive their journeys across the ocean.