Guidelines for the use of Distances travelled on the river

Activity title:
Distances travelled on the river

Curriculum area: Geography and Mathmatics

NC objectives: Geography: 2c), 3c), 6a) & 7a) Maths: Ma2 1b), 1c), 1d), 1e), 1f), 1i) 3a), 3b), 3f), 3h), 3i), 3j), 4a) & 4b) Ma3 1a), 4a)

Main learning objective: To use maps and atlases accurately and to understand the hierarchy of settlements in a geographical context

Lesson plan ideas, activities and resource sheets

20 minutes

  • Explain that the River Severn was once a busy working river with cargo ships travelling up and own delivering all manner of cargoes ranging from coal to salt. Explain that a map of the sea or water is called a ‘chart’.

  • Explain that they must calculate the distances sailed for a list of voyages undertaken by the Spry, which was a Severn trow (an indigenous local sailing vessel) and also the straight-line ‘crows flies’ distance. Take any suggestions for how this can be done and lead them to using the scale of the chart.

MAIN ACTIVITY: 30 minutes

  • Provide the class with ‘4.3a Chart of the Severn Estuary’ and ‘4.3b Voyages of the Trow Spry’. Explain that the task is to determine the distance travelled for each voyage and the crow flies (this could be a differentiation method).

  • The class can be divided into small groups or pairs.

  • Early finishers can use miles instead of kilometres

PLENARY: 20 minutes

  • Go through the answers as a class and discuss how the distances were calculated.

  • Conclude by looking at the conversion between kilometres and miles.

Suggested extension activities or cross curricular links:

  • Look at the history of the Severn Trow and the Spry.

  • Investigate the range of cargoes carried on the Severn in history and modern times.

  • Look at the history of charts.


4.3 Guidelines - Distances travelled on the river

4.3a Chart of the Severn Estuary

4.3b Voyages of the Trow Spry