The Fifth Grade Portuguese Caravel Project

Watch the video above of Mr. Ragsdale and fifth graders as they explain their two-day class trip to Construction Kids where they built Portuguese Caravel models.

Prior to the end of the school year, the fifth grade traveled to the Brooklyn Navy Yard workshop of Construction Kids to build Portuguese Caravel models. This two-day trip began the final stage of a three-phase project that concluded the class’s study of the Age of Exploration.

The month-long project began with a research phase focused on the technological advances that made the Caravel so important to the Age of Exploration. The boys began phase two by making hand-drawn designs individually. Then, working in groups, they created virtual caravels with the computer program, Minecraft. The final phase, physical construction, was begun at Construction Kids and completed during regularly scheduled art, technology, and history classes. Using a variety of tools and media (hand saws, sanders, plaster, hot glue guns, and acrylic paint to name a few) the boys brought their ships to life.