Does polar exploration past and present interest you and is it discussed in your classroom? Do the disappearance of Sir John Franklin in 1845, the historic expedition in search of the Northwest Passage and the recent discoveries of its ships intrigue your students?

Here is a wealth of educational resources - most of which are available in English and French - developed by experts in the field!

External resources

Inuit men on the pack ice with a kayak-type boat
Franklin Mystery: A complete site dedicated to the Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition!
© Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History

Franklin Mystery: life and death in the Arctic
Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History (GUMICH)

The Franklin Mystery: Life and Death in the Arctic invites you to explore the historical evidence surrounding the events of the 1845 Franklin expedition, and draw your own conclusions about what happened, and why. Find hundreds of pieces of evidence left over from the past and reproduced in the form of letters, diaries, memoirs, drawings, paintings and maps.

Finding Franklin: new approaches to teaching Canadian history
THEN|HIER The History Education Network

With a focus on developments in telling the history of Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition, the symposium held in Ottawa, June 4-5, 2015 brought Canada's leading experts in history education together with historians, Inuit cultural advisors, underwater archaeologists, curriculum specialists from Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, and teachers from northern and southern Canada.

Canadian Geographic learning activities
Canadian Geographic Education

The 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition sought to solve one of the Canada’s greatest mysteries – what happened to Sir John Franklin, his crew and ships when the 1845 British Arctic Expedition ended in tragedy. With the support of its partners, Canadian Geographic Education has created activities for intermediate students to bring the excitement of exploration into classrooms. (Also available in Inuktitut)

Map of Canada
Parks Canada Giant Floor map available for loan.
© Canadian Geographic

Giant floor map
Parks Canada and Canadian Geographic

Explore Canada’s great nation through its National Parks, National Historic Sites and National Marine Conservation Areas including the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS TerrorNational Historic Site. In partnership with Canadian Geographic, Giant Floor maps are available for loan for 3-week periods. Take students’ learning to a deeper level with ten curriculum-linked activities.

Sonar image of the wreck of HMS Erebus.
© The Canadian Hydrographic Service – Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2014

The role of the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Coast Guard in the discovery of HMS Erebus (multi-beam sonar images of HMS Erebus)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The discovery of HMS Erebus, one of Sir John Franklin’s two lost ships, was a significant occasion for Fisheries and Oceans Canada to showcase the work of the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). Learn more about the role of both the CHS and the CCG in the discovery of HMS Erebus.

Franklin’s Lost Ships
Nature of Things, CBC and Lion Television, aired April 9, 2015

Franklin’s Lost Ships presents an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of the most important undersea discoveries since the Titanic. Franklin’s Lost Ships uses CGI and re-enactments to lay out how Franklin’s expedition became a tragedy in polar exploration history. It took scientific discipline, Inuit oral history and some luck to finally find the Erebus. But the story is far from over. Franklin’s Lost Ships reveals it’s only just begun.

Image taken from the video, in which we can see some men leaving two vessels trapped in the ice
Animated introduction of the Franklin’s expedition’s story.
© Centre for International Governance Innovation

Discovery of HMS Erebus Video
Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

A one minute video intro to mysteries of the Franklin voyage revealed in Canada's Arctic.

Internal resources

People using the touch screen of the Franklin Exploration pop-up display
To be seen in ten museums across Canada!

The Franklin Exploration pop-up display
The Franklin Museum Network

This is an opportunity to discover a museum in your area member of the museum network of the Franklin project! You will find an interactive exhibition on the 1845 expedition of Sir John Franklin and research expeditions for his lost ships.

Events

Check the calendar of events section of our website to discover the opportunities for practical learning activities and meeting with the team of the Franklin project, as well as presentations by underwater archaeologists and other experts on the subject across the country.