13th May 2005 at 01:00

Plot Thomas Pitcher's voyage on a map. Name the continents he passed and the oceans he sailed across. Using travel brochures and the internet for resources on Madeira, develop a knowledge and understanding of an "island home".


Follow Pitcher's voyage on a globe. Which of the following did he cross and how many times: the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and the Equator? Which continents and countries does the Equator pass through? Is there more land to the north or south of it? Which country is named after it? Try the teaching ideas which explore the Prime (Greenwich) Meridian at


Find out where these wind belts are, what causes them and why they have been given these names: Doldrums, Trade Winds, Roaring Forties. Choose five or six places along Thomas Pitcher's route and find out what the weather is like today using the world forecast on the BBC website. Explain the differences.

Teach pupils how to use latitude and longitude to locate places on the Earth's surface. There is plenty of online help (eg, http:712educators.about.comlibraryhowtohtlatlong.htm).

Give pupils a route to plot, using latitude and longitude, on different types of projection, eg Mercator and Peters. Compare the appearance of the routes. Why is Mercator best for navigation?

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