Henry Hudson lesson

Did you ever have something that you loved doing and it didn’t really matter who you were doing it with?  Well, Henry Hudson had something he loved to do, and he didn’t really care who he did it with.  To find out just who he was exploring for we pulled out our Legos, some maps, and a few more things for this homeschool history lesson.

Henry Hudson Northwest Passage lesson

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Supplies needed for our Henry Hudson lesson

maps you can write on(learn how I made my wall maps), row boat like from this Lego Junior Pirate set*, a few guys or so (like the Lego education fantasy and historical figures set* or Lego Pirates Chess set*, watch for the price to go lower, I got it for under $40), and Mystery of History 3*, Wondermaps*, I also did a quick search of printable toothpick flags and used those for this lesson, you’ll see why in a moment.

Now on to our….

Henry Hudson lesson

Magellan lesson his plan

It is 1600 and a few years ago Ferdinand Magellan definitively proved there was no Southern route to get to India quickly, but that didn’t kill the dream of a Northwest Passage.  Henry Hudson was quite sure there was a Northwest Passage somewhere.

Henry Hudson lesson Northwest passage

Henry Hudson set out exploring for the English.  He had a theory if you traveled North you could find a nice easy route to Asia.  They did find something.  Ice, whales, and walruses were a common sight as they went sailing around, but there was no sign of the Northwest Passage.  So Henry Hudson sailed back to England.  He sailed out a second time for England and recorded seeing a mermaid.  But no route to Asia.

Hudson lesson

For his third trip England wasn’t biting anymore.  They had funded two trips with no results, and so Henry Hudson went over to the Dutch East India Company.  He said, “Never mind, I’m not British, this time I’m Dutch.”  Which at this time is rather illegal, and there’s some theories Henry Hudson might have been a spy for England.  Since sailing towards the North Pole had not worked his last two trips, Henry Hudson opted to sail South.

Henry Hudson lesson comparing Hudson and Champlain
That other guy exploring is Champlain, he’s exploring for the French, and he’s another story (yes even with 31 days of explorers I didn’t tell you about all of them)

He sailed South and found the Hudson River, wandered around on that until it was quite clear it would not get to Asia, and then sailed back to the Atlantic Ocean.

After getting back to Europe, Henry Hudson was still quite convinced he could find his Northwest Passage, and England decided they trusted him again, so he sailed out under England’s flag again.  This time he took a slightly different route, sailed through Hudson Strait, and ended up in Hudson Bay.  Which is quite a dead end, and does not get through to Asia.

Henry Hudson exploring canada
I may have accidentally saved over the original file, and so I’m not updating this with the new logo

There’s a few theories, this particular trip wasn’t really about finding the Northwest Passage.  This time Henry Hudson sailed around Hudson Bay and very carefully mapped the entire Bay.  Someone trying to sail to Asia does not stop and take the time to map out a bay in great detail.  One theory has Henry Hudson searching for a good spot to create a trading post for all of those furs the French were trading.

But, we don’t know for sure what his real mission was.  We do know, his crew were pretty mad at him, and forced Henry Hudson off the ship.  We never hear from Henry Hudson again.

Did you figure out what Henry Hudson really wanted to do?

Sadly, he never did find that Northwest Passage.  Of course, that is partially because it does not exist.

31 Days of the Age of Exploration

Tomorrow is the last day of the Age of Exploration series.  I’m rather looking forward to going back to not posting quite so often, and writing about something other than history.  Of course, the great irony is on Wednesday I’m going to have a lego history lesson on Thanksgiving.  But, then it’ll be a break from homeschool history as I run to tell you about a few other things, it’s a packed full November on the blog.  Make sure you don’t miss a single thing and sign up for my newsletter.


6 responses to “Henry Hudson lesson”

  1. I listened to a fabulous talk about following the passions God sets on your heart. It was just what I needed to hear as we are coming up to GCSE time and time to follow societal expectations. I really do like the way you use legos 🙂

    1. Thanks, that sounds like a really cool talk.

  2. Phyllis at All Things Beautiful Avatar
    Phyllis at All Things Beautiful

    Knowing now what the explorers had it mind can be a tough thing. This has been a really fun series!

    1. Thanks! Surprisingly after spending a whole month on explorers, I still didn’t get all of them done. I didn’t touch the conquistadors, and I didn’t actually write a post about Drake.

  3. I just loved this series on your blog! I learned so much from it. You do have a gift for teaching history!

    1. Thanks! I actually have a few more explorers that I need to figure out what to do with them later, but I’m done with explorers for now.

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