Mapping World Explorers


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


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. 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. Add more layers of paper until you have a sturdy globe. Dry completely.

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. 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. 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.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

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


  • 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.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Fine Line Markers
  • Paint Brushes
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • craft sticks
  • paper towels
  • chenille sticks
  • container(s) of water
  • recycled file folders



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Social Studies


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • 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.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards