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BRAVING THE UNKNOWN

Give students a framework to help them identify, break down, and work through fears that might be keeping them from boldly reaching for their far-off goals/dreams on the distant horizon.  

quick facts

KEY WAYFINDER TRAIT: Boldly Experimental

ESTIMATED TOTAL TIME: ~ 50 minutes

MATERIALS NEEDED: None

 

intro video

 

Background

This activity was inspired by the way Polynesian navigators explored and ultimately settled islands in the Pacific ocean.  If you look at the size of the Polynesian Triangle (defined by Hawai’i in the north, New Zealand in the southwest, and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the southeast), it covers about 10,000 square miles -- which is bigger than any other country on Earth.  Because it is so large and vast, and so difficult to chart, the Pacific islands were some of the last places to be explored and settled by humans on the planet.  And unlike land-based navigation, where people could explore new territory simply by walking and noting physical landmarks to retrace their steps, the Pacific had to be explored by voyaging canoes.  

Imagine the fears that Polynesian voyagers had to overcome (both internal and external) in searching for land masses that might not even be out there.  Their bravery, courage, and curiosity was ultimately rewarded in the discovery of some of the most beautiful, fertile, and hospitable places on earth, like the Hawaiian Islands.  (Hawaii is actually the most isolated archipelago on Earth, with Alaska more than 2,000 nautical miles away.)  

map.jpg

Media and Story resources

  • Video clip from the film Castaway - showing Tom Hanks finally getting over a giant wave break as he finally leaves the island on his makeshift raft.  This is a really emotional moment, and captures the feeling of summoning all of your courage to leave the known for the unknown.

 

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