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In Drake's Wake

The Primary School Drake Day

Michael Turner


The day will be spent literally "looking" at Sir Francis Drake's world voyage. Besides learning about the voyage, I will tell the children stories of my most unusual experiences in reaching some of the locations. A variety of teaching methods will be employed, which will include active learning.

Introduction - (30 mins)

I begin the day by introducing my travels and what it entails being an explorer in today's world. The children will be able to examine the typical contents of my rucksack and learn what the essential items are and how they are stowed.

Slide Presentation of the World Voyage - (45 mins)

To arrest pupil attention, questions are invited at 15 minute intervals.

Worksheet of Drake's Life - (1 hour)

We will read Drake's life together, so I can ensure that it is fully understood. Pupils can choose which questions they wish to answer. Captioned drawings can be included.

Drake DVD - (45 mins)

Drake's life is traced in detail. The Golden Hinde II provides realistic visual impact.

Drama Workshops - (45 mins)

In groups of four, pupils will compose a three-minute play based on what they have learnt about Drake's life. Observing pupils will constructively comment upon the quality of the plays.

Exhibition and explanation of drake artefacts - (15 mins)

A tactile session during which pupils examine: a stone from the jungle Royal Road in Panama that Drake may have walked upon; a white rock from Drake's California anchorage; 16th century ships' nails and pottery shards from Nombre de Dios, Panamá, that were in the village when Drake razed it; sago and cloves from the Spice Islands, Indonesia and a mineral rock from the Bolivian silver mine.

BBC TV Documentary - (30 mins)

I made this programme to mark the 400th anniversary of Drake's death. The programme was filmed mainly in Panamá and in my Drake office. It also deals with the controversy of searching for Drake's lead coffin.

(Due to subsequent class discussions, times are approximate. The delivery is adjusted to the timings of your school day, e.g. accommodating an assembly and a PE lesson.)

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