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See the fact file below for more information on Captain James Cook or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- James Cook was born on October 27, 1728, in Marton-in-Cleveland, Yorkshire, England. Young James worked on the farm along with his father. At the age of 18, he became an apprentice of James Walker, a Quaker ship owner along the seaside of Whitby, England.
- After 10 years, Cook joined the British Navy. He was promoted to the ship’s master after two years and sailed to North America on HMS Pembroke. During the Seven Years’ War, he took over a captured ship for the Royal Navy. Cook also gained prominence as a cartographer when he created a map of the Saint Lawrence River.
- By 1763, he became a surveyor and was commissioned by the Admiralty to survey the coast of Newfoundland and southern Labrador. He spent years on HMS Greenville charting harbours and shoals.
James Cook as a Navigator and Explorer:
- In 1768, Cook was appointed by England’s Royal Society to lead the first scientific exploration of the Pacific. He was very particular with the ship’s cleanliness and his crew’s hygiene.
- Cook believed that in order to make a successful expedition, the crew must be healthy. To avoid diseases, he ordered daily bathing and regular changing of linen. In addition, fruit was part of their diet to avoid scurvy.
- On August 26, 1768, Cook set sail with HMB Endeavour in hopes of finding the fabled southern continent. He also observed the planet Venus as it passed the face of the Sun while staying in Tahiti, the Society Islands, and New Zealand. The Maori tribe of New Zealand resisted foreign visitors and came into conflict with them.
- The HMB Endeavour continued the journey and found the east coast of Australia. They spent time repairing the ship after it was damaged by coral reefs. About 30 of Cook’s crew died of malaria. Finally, in July 1777, they returned home.
- In 1772, Cook set sail on his second voyage with two ships named Resolution and Adventure. His main objective was to discover or disproved the existence of the southern continent.
- It was during this expedition that he travelled the farthest south that a European ever navigated. He became one of the first men to sail the Antarctic Circle. In addition, Cook also went to Easter Island.
- Cook’s final expedition took place in 1776. He sought to find a northwestern route across North America to Asia. He failed to discover the coast of Alaska but did find the Hawaiian Islands that were named the Sandwich Islands during those time.
- Hawaiian natives mistook the English sailors for their deities since their arrival coincided with the Hawaiian festival honoring the fertility god Lono.
- One of Cook’s sailboats was stolen by the Hawaiian natives. As a result, Cook kidnapped the chief and asked for the return of the boat as ransom. A huge fight broke out and Cook was killed in 1779.
- As part of Cook’s legacy, he named several places in Australia, including Botany Bay, Point Lookout, and Cape Tribulation. In addition, Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean are named to honor him.
- Throughout his career, Cook was respected by both Spanish and American voyagers.
- Today, there is a monument at Kealakekua Bay in Hawaii, which commemorates the landing and death of Cook.
- NASA named Discovery and Endeavour space shuttles after Cook’s voyages.
Captain James Cook Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Captain James Cook worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Captain James Cook who was an English navigator who provided the first accurate map of the Pacific. His voyages filled more of the world’s map than any other explorer in history.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Captain James Cook Facts
- Captain Cook’s Biography
- Mapping Cook’s Voyages
- Famous English Explorers
- Mix, Match and Map
- Aye, Aye Captain!
- The Pacific
- Fact or Fiction
- Cook’s Timeline
- His Majesty’s Bark
- Map Making
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Link will appear as Captain James Cook Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 18, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.