Geography in Literature: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
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Time for another Geography in Literature Geography Quest!
One of our all time favorite books is Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. Although Mr. Bowditch led a very tragic life, he was brilliant and just reading about how he could learn and teach others is a real treat.
Bowditch was responsible for writing the first American book on navigation called, The American Navigator and it is still used today with modern updates. This Geography Quest gives you a chance to enjoy a good book together while mapping the shipping routes of Mr. Bowditch.
Mapping the Voyages of Nathaniel Bowditch
Without giving details of how Nathaniel Bowditch ends up taking his sea voyages (I would hate to be a spoiler!), he does eventually get the chance to be at sea as a ship’s clerk. He’s a math guy and proves to be very valuable.
Map each of the voyages listed below. If you don’t know the name of the features mentioned, do some research to find out where they are.
Voyage 1: The ship and its crew are to sail from Salem, MA around the Cape of Good Hope to the Isle of Bourbon off the east coast of Africa.
Voyage 2: They are off from Salem, MA for Lisbon, Portugal and they take port on the Tigus River. From there they head to Funchal on the Madeira Islands and finally to Manila.
Give each map a title naming the voyage. We had a great time finding all the places mentioned in the book. Be careful! You may find that the names of some of the locations has changed since Mr. Bowditch was sailing. There are more odysseys taken, but I don’t want to ruin the fun of finding some on your own.
Other Ways to Study Navigation and Exploration with Maps
Navigation is a lot of fun for our family. Dan has worked with our kids to make triangulations and find a site using a compass. Listed below are some links and activities having to do with navigation. I’m also going to add other books you may find enjoyable.
- Adventures in Sailing, Exploration, and Navigation– an Adventure Box dedicated to the topic.
- Tools of Navigation: A Kid’s Guide to the History and Science of Finding Your Way– great book on the equipment used in navigation
- Swallows & Amazons– another great sailing adventure about kids in the lake district of England.
- Study other World Explorers– there are many mapping opportunities on this topic
Thank you for joining me once again for the Geography Quest. Please sign up to get Blog, She Wrote through your inbox so you don’t miss any of the Quests.
Love this book! One of our favorites, as well!
I borrow your geography quest ideas quite a bit.
This was a wonderful story and a fun way to read and map Mr. Bowditch’s adventures.
Thanks for all you the fabulous ideas you publish.
Hey Bec! I’m so glad you guys like the Geography Quests. I have to get back to writing some more!
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