James Cook Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

This lesson explores James Cook and his important contribution to world geography. Students will complete an independent reading assignment, two activities and a quiz. An extension activity is also included.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss James Cook's impact on world geography
  • Create a timeline of Cook's life and expeditions
  • Identify the significance Cook's expeditions


This lesson will take 60 minutes. The optional extension will take an additional 30 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).


  • apprenticeship
  • apprentice
  • merchant
  • seaman
  • expedition


Activity I

  • Explain to students that James Cook was a significant contributor to world geography through many expeditions.
  • Group students into three or four and distribute 10 - 15 blank index cards, a glue stick and 5 foot of string.
  • Allow students to use technology to research important dates associated with James Cook's life and his explorations.
  • Students may use their creativity to design the timeline. Allow them to print visuals to paste on the cards, if desired, and use the string to connect the cards.
  • Allow each group to present and require each group member to participate.

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