Mapping World Explorers

crayola supplies

household supplies


Who explored where? When? Represent travel since ancient times by mapping explorers' routes around the globe.


  1. 1. Since the beginning of human habitation on Earth, people have explored new areas. Research the kingdoms and nations that sent explorers forth. Find the names of independent adventurers. Look beyond the recent Spanish and Portuguese explorers who have had good publicity. You may learn about some amazing places that Chinese explorers visited. Or discover lands where Vikings arrived before other Europeans. Exploration over land counts, too, such as the Silk Road. Make a timeline of your findings.
  2. 2. Cover your art area with newspaper. To make a papier mâché globe to map out your findings. Tear newspaper into strips or squares. Mix equal parts of water and Crayola® School Glue. Slide the torn newspaper into the glue. Cover a crumpled piece of recycled newspaper with two or three layers of newspaper, smoothing it as you go. Dry.
  3. 3. Add more layers of paper until you have a sturdy globe. Dry completely.
  4. 4. Look at an atlas or globe to find the placement of land masses on Earth. Sketch the continents on your globe with Crayola® Washable Marker. Paint land and sea with Crayola Tempera and Paint Brushes. Dry.
  5. 5. With the point of Crayola Scissors, poke a hole in the globe where your first explorer started. Poke other holes at various stops along the journey. Poke chenille sticks in holes from one to another to mark each explorer's route. Choose a different color chenille stem to represent each explorer's nation. Diagram all of your findings.
  6. 6. Push another craft stick in your globe to hold your color key. Write down the time period and the people who were exploring on paper tabs cut from recycled file folders. Match the tabs to the appropriate colored chenille stem and tie to a craft stick.


Older students map the migration of the first people on the continent of Africa. Trace the paths people are thought to have moved along to populate the Earth.

What motivates people to explore? List and discuss the reasons throughout history.

Plus Ultra is a saying meaning more beyond. Discuss what that motto means in terms of exploration, especially as it applies to future generations.


Students research information about early explorers, concentrating on selected nations, routes, or time periods.

Students find maps of exploration routes over water and land and create a timeline.

Children represent their findings in a three-dimensional model and map travel routes over space and/or through time.


Grades 4 to 6
Grades 7 to 12


Social Studies


30 to 60 minutes
Multiple Sessions

curriculum standards links

US: Research U.S. Standards
UK: Research UK Standards
Canada: Research Canada Standards

safety guidelines

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points

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