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Navigation: Then and Now. Enduring Understanding. Explorers use navigation to get from one place to another. Essential Questions:. How do people get from one place to another? What tools were used in the past for navigation? What tools are used currently for navigation?. Brainstorm.

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Navigation: Then and Now

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Presentation Transcript
enduring understanding
Enduring Understanding
  • Explorers use navigation to get from one place to another.
essential questions
Essential Questions:
  • How do people get from one place to another?
  • What tools were used in the past for navigation?
  • What tools are used currently for navigation?

Pause Video

  • Brainstorm ways that people travel from one place to another today as compared to the past.

Restart Video

tools of ancient navigation



Binnacle box


“Knots” cylinder

Lead Line


Tools of Ancient Navigation

Navigation has examples of these tools.

  • Maps have been used for centuries to help travelers reach their destination.
  • Ancient maps used:
    • Latitude
    • Degrees
    • Cardinal directions

Try the Anchors Aweigh:Longitude Mapping Game.

consider the following questions
Consider theFollowing Questions:

Pause Video

  • How can maps be used today?
  • How have maps evolved?
  • What do different maps show?

Restart Video

suggested activities
Suggested Activities
  • Compare a map from Columbus’s voyage to a map from today.
  • Plot the locations of various points using the maps.
  • Plot Columbus’s voyage to the new world.
suggested activities9
Suggested Activities
  • Create a map of your neighborhood.
  • Compare your map to a key map of that same area to see the difference between the map designs.
  • The compass was used to guide travelers on their journey.
  • Ancient compasses pointed to magnetic north not true north.

Read more on Understanding and Using a Compass.

compass activities
Compass Activities

Pause Video

  • Compare compasses of the past with compasses of today.
  • Write a paragraph about the differences between the two and how the compass has been improved.

Restart Video

Used to keep time aboard ship.

Explorers were able to track their location by knowing the time and the distance they traveled.


Find out more aboutThe History of the Hourglass.

hourglass exploration
Use plastic soda bottles and sand to create your own hourglass.

Brainstorm ways that watches have replaced the use of hourglasses.

Hourglass Exploration
how was the binnacle box used with the hourglass
How was the Binnacle Box Used with the Hourglass?
  • Inside the Binnacle box there is a compass. The compass helps in steering the boat in the right direction. The Binnacle box has half hour time periods marked on the top.
  • This tool was used by Christopher Columbus.
  • It used the sun’s position to determine latitude.

Ptolemy’s Ptools discusses how Columbus used a Quadrant.

knots cylinder
“Knots” Cylinder

Calculates distance in a set amount of time.

knots per hour
Knots per Hour


  • How were the knots calculated?
  • Calculate knots per hour.
check up how to calculate knots
Check up :How to Calculate Knots
  • Use a thirty second time period to calculate knots.
  • There is a knot every 51 feet.
  • There are 120 thirty second time intervals per hour.
  • So….

120 x 51 = 6,120 feet per hour or

1 nautical mile per hour

lead line
Lead line
  • The lead line was used to make maps.
  • Used to measure depth.
  • Collected samples from ocean bottom to help explorers determine location.
  • Used by Portuguese to determine latitude of navigation.
  • It measures the angle between the horizon and Polaris (North Star).
new developments in navigation
New Developmentsin Navigation
  • Technology is a dominant part of today’s navigation.
  • Today’s navigation is still based on mathematics.
global positioning system
Global Positioning System
  • Uses satellites 11,000 miles from Earth.
  • To get a latitude and longitude reading you need information from three satellites.
  • Information gathering is much much more reliable and faster.

Visit GPS Explained for more information.

  • Think of the advances in navigation that you saw in this video.
  • With advancing technology, what could be some possible tools of navigation for the future?
moving map
Moving Map
  • Shows where you are and where you are going on an actual map.

See Moving Mapwith Touch Screen Control to see an example.

  • What are some innovative ways of assessing student understanding of the differences and similarities between ancient and modern navigation?