Young Navigators - K-12 Questions & Activities

Activity for Grades 4-12

Create the Waldseemüller Globe:

Materials: A printout of the Globe, a ruler, several styrofoam balls of different sizes, a ball with a circumference that matches the length of the equator on the map for each team of students, pins or glue, crayons or markers to color the map.

Preparation: Print out the Globes. An original may be printed out from the web site. Measure and acquire balls of the correct size - the styrofoam balls used at holiday time are good.

Activity: Cut out the map. While it is still flat, color it to see the places on it more clearly. Mark the equator carefully. Measure the length of the equator on the flat map. Then, if balls are ready to go, measure the balls of various sizes until one is found that matches the length of the equator. Use this ball to construct the globe. Wrap the map around the ball exactly halfway between top and bottom. Attach it to the ball. Then, carefully bring the points together at the top and bottom. As the globe takes shape, fastened each gore in place. Hang the globes in a mobile or place them in small hand-made stands.

Or, for a quicker activity, make a globe out of paper plates!

Questions to consider:

  • Why is it important to study old maps? What can they teach us about history?
  • Take another look at the section on "Changing World Views." How did maps influence people's views of the world in the Middle Ages? Why did educated people think about the world differently than uneducated people? What types of people do you think looked at maps in the Middle Ages?
  • Why do you think people imagined that monsters were lurking on the borders of the known world?
  • Draw a map of your school or neighborhood! What you think would be most important for other people reading the map to know? Be creative. Draw monsters if you want!
Young Navigators - K-12 Questions & Activities