English through History Roleplay- Explorers


Level: Advanced
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: General
Type: Lesson Plans
Submitted by:
Published: 16th May 2010

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Lesson Plan Text

English through History Roleplay- Explorers

You are Columbus. Try to persuade the King and Queen of Spain to pay for your journey around 
the world to find a new route to Cathay (= China)

You are the King of Spain. You think it is a good idea, but want to reduce the amount of money you 
give Columbus

You are the Queen of Spain. You don’t think it’s a good idea, but might be persuaded if Columbus 
offers you enough benefits, e.g. future profits

You are Columbus. Try to persuade the King and Queen of Spain that your voyage was a success, 
even though you didn’t reach China

You are the Queen of Spain. Try to get your money back of Columbus because he didn’t reach 
China as he promised.

You are the King of Spain. You want to punish Columbus for breaking his promise.

You are Stanley and have just returned from the African jungle, where you met David Livingstone. 
Try to persuade the unbelieving people listening that you really did meet him. 

You are Francis Drake and have just arrived back at the court of Elizabeth I. Try to persuade them 
that the potatoes, tobacco and native American slaves you have brought back from America are just 
as good as the gold, silk and spices that other explorers are bringing back

You have just arrived back from the African jungle claiming to have found the route of the Nile, 
but there is no one to back up your claims. Try to persuade your partners that what you are saying 
is true

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2010

English through History Roleplay- Explorers

You are polar explorers on a less than successful expedition. You know have the choice of eating 
the huskies or giving up. Debate which choice is best, starting with opposite opinions.

You have just found out that there is a tribe that has never had contact with the outside world in the 
Amazon or Papua New Guinea. One of you thinks they should be left alone and the other things 
you should go and discover them. Try to reach agreement.

You are going on an expedition into the African jungle. One of you thinks using local people as 
porters is just exploitation and the other thinks that it is a good think because it brings money into 
the local economy. Try to reach agreement. 

You arrive at a water hole in the middle of the Australian desert and meet some Aborigines who 
speak no English. Try to find out what this place is called in their language, if the water is okay to 
drink, if there is anything you can eat near there, 

You are early explorers in America. Your ship is nearly full and you can only take one thing people 
have never seen before back to Europe. Try to choose between a turkey, maize, chocolate, tobacco 
and potatoes. 

Imagine that Columbus discovers just before he is going to set off that there is another continent in 
the Atlantic between Europe and Asia. Debate whether you should change routes and go East to 
Asia or go to America anyway.  

Your sled is too heavy for the weak polar ice. Decide which things you are going to leave there and 
whether you are going to pick them up on the way back or not.

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2010

English through History Roleplay- Explorers

You are two crew members in a ship that you are sure is lost. Decide whether you are going to do, 
e.g. trust your captain anyway, mutiny, or desert to a nearby island. 

A strange ship (actually 18


 Century European explorers) is approaching your village on the small 

island where you live. Decide together what you should do.

You are some European explorers who have gained unique positions in the court of an Eastern 
Asian country and been living there for 15 years. Debate whether you will return home to Europe 
or not, starting with opposite views.

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2010

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