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‘Great Elizabethan Navigators’ is the first chapter of Stephen Leacock's ‘Adventurers of the Far North’, which contains accounts of the historic voyages to the northern regions of what is now Canada. This chapter describes the earliest quests to find a ‘Northwest Passage’ by European explorers such as Frobisher and Davis. Leacock explains the political and business reasons for the men’s journeys, and also gives short but interesting accounts of the voyages themselves, in some cases referring to journals as first-hand sources. These are short histories, but they are thorough. A student will be familiar with major dates, events and personalities after working through each text. The tone of the writing is neither formal nor chatty, but invites the reader to take an interest in a topic for which the author evidently had a genuine passion.
This book contains chapter one from ‘Adventurers of the Far North’. For study purposes, it has been divided into 6 short sections, each roughly 3 pages long. After every section there are 10 reading comprehension questions, which the student may answer as they read or after reading the previous section. These questions are meant to help the student to remember and understand important facts. There are also at least two questions under the heading ‘Thinking About the Details’. These ask that the student find a specific small segment of the text which has been underlined (page numbers are given) and answer pointed questions about that small piece of writing. These questions focus on writing style, word choice, intent and tone. Sometimes the student may be asked to verify facts. The purpose is to encourage the student to think critically about history and historical writing.
After the main text and assignments there is a blank map of Canada, which can be used by the student to make a visual representation of what they have learned from reading and thinking about ‘Great Elizabethan Navigators’.