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BEATING THE 'BERGS

Students are providing with a real-time tool to help them navigate around roadblocks (icebergs), and acquaint them with a 4-step approach (B.E.R.G.) that could be used with future roadblocks.  

QUICK FACTS

KEY WAYFINDER TRAIT: Fiercely Determined

ESTIMATED TOTAL TIME: ~ 75 minutes

MATERIALS NEEDED: Post-it notes or whiteboard markers for brainstorming

 

intro videO

 

Background

This activity was partially inspired by Norse navigators, who were fearless explorers from Scandinavia.  Along with Polynesian navigators, the Norse were another civilization with deep wayfinding practices who were able to navigate from Norway all the way over to northern Canada.  Their peak voyaging activity spanned from about the 10th to 12th centuries.  They explored far and wide, and designed some of the most advanced sailing vessels in the world.  They started off raiding the rich kingdoms of Europe, but raiding eventually gave way to trading, which was a more sustainable and lucrative source of income.  (The Vikings were a subset of Norse navigators, but not all Norse navigators were Vikings.)  They settled all over Europe, and ventured as far west as Greenland and ultimately North America, “discovering” the Americas 500 years before Christopher Columbus claimed to.

We think the Norse navigators are another exemplar of wayfinding because 1.) they were inventive in their voyaging craft and navigation techniques, and 2.) they were particularly determined.  They were primarily sailing in the far north Atlantic, in freezing conditions with low light for much of the year.  And yet the distances they covered were vast; they did not let roadblocks (physical or mental) get in their way.

Map of the voyaging explorations of Norse navigators.  Source: Brandeis University.

Bergs.jpg

 

Media and Story resources

 

 

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