I have another fascinating book to share with you today: Sea Clocks: The Story of Longitude.
For many years, my children and I used the Tapestry of Grace curriculum. While it can be a bit difficult to wrap your brain around, Tapestry offers a wide selection of books for grades K through 12th. Most of our book shelves are filled with the wonderful suggestions from Tapestry!
Sea Clocks is one of those exceptional suggestions from the Tapestry of Grace curriculum. My children and I have read it many times over through the years!
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You’ll find a variety of books for various ages and stages.
Sea Clocks – The Story of Longitude
Author: Louise Borden
Illustrator: Erik Blegvad
Sea Clocks is a perfect complement to any unit study you might be doing on early explorers, navigating the seas, geography, or the time period of the 1700’s. While this is a picture book, Sea Clocks is best used for older 3rd graders to about 7th grade, in my opinion.
I think the sweet spot for this book is probably late 4th grade and 5th grade.
This well-written book describes the process of John Harrison inventing the sea clock – a clock that could accurately tell time at sea. This was the invention of the day!
A big take away from this book is Harrison’s obvious perseverance in working and tinkering until his clock was correct. John Harrison didn’t quit when his first clock wasn’t accurate, but kept plugging away even when the world was seemingly against him.
This is a great lesson for all of us!
Learning Ideas for Sea Clocks
There are several directions you could go in to study Sea Clocks in a more in-depth fashion. Browse through these learning ideas and add them to your list!
→ Make a time line of Harrison’s various clocks. What was the length of time between clocks?
→ Watch a Harrison H4 being made – fascinating! Or watch a 30-minute BBC documentary on The Clock That Changed the World.
→ Mark all of John Harrison’s adventures using a blank map. Start with his birthplace in Lincolnshire, England.
→ John Harrison was one of five children. Show where John was in his family by making a family tree!
→ Check out a book from the library on building clocks. What materials are needed for modern clocks? How does one learn that skill?
→ Is there a clock maker in your area? See if a local clock maker would allow a small field trip to see his shop and describe his craft.
→ Learn the exact coordinates of your city in longitude and latitude. What resource could you use to figure it out yourself without using a modern GPS for help (i.e.: Google Maps, et al).