A Pirate Compass that works!
We have just finished the fourth book in our The Magic Tree House Series and it was a swashbuckling pirates tale! Pirate Past Noon (or Pirates’ Treasure here in the UK) is a story where the Jack and Annie have a swashbuckling adventure with some nasty pirates.
Will they find the treasure or will they be made to walk the plank? We also find out who or what the mysterious M is!
Living near the coast means that we have always been interested in the sea and things associated with it. Pirates have been a firm favourite of ours and we have read books, played at being pirates and have made lots of pirate crafts too. So what were we going to do for this Magic Tree House mini topic?
We have been looking at forces in science this week, especially magnetic forces so we just had to make our own pirate compass!
Would a Pirate Need a Compass?
Pirates were sailors that used to navigate around the seas and oceans looking for treasure! They often used the sun to navigate during the day and the stars at night. But what would they do when they were in the middle of a sea fret (fog)? That is when a compass can really come in handy!
Making a Compass
We decided to make a very simple compass. This works just as well as a shop bought compass. Once you know how to make one you should never get lost again!
Resources we used:
Bowl, water, needle, magnet and a leaf (or you can use a cork instead)
How we made the compass:
First we found out about how compasses work. We found out that there was a magnetic north an south pole, and the earth acts like a huge magnet.
Next took our needle and stroked it with the magnet. This took a few minutes and we had to remember to stroke it in one direction. rather like stroking a cat!
Then we filled the bowl with water and waited for the water to become still.
Once the water was still, we laid the needle on the leaf. We then carefully placed the leaf in the middle of the bowl so it was not touching the sides. We then watched as the leaf moved around in a circle.
After a little while it became still and the needle was pointing in one direction. The needle should be pointing to magnetic north.
Finally we tested our compass by placing the magnet near the needle. The needle began to spin around and when we took the magnet away it stopped spinning. It eventually was still and pointed in the same direction as before!
We had made our very own pirate compass!
More Ideas for Using a Compass
Why not try using taking your pirate compass outside. Turn around and see if you can find out where magnetic north is.
Once you have found magnetic north, can you find out where the directions south, east and west are?
Try making a treasure map of your yard or garden and mark where north is on your map using the compass. Can you work out which direction your gate is, your house or other features you can see?
Finally, if you enjoy using your compass you could look up how to use it for such sports as orienteering, sailing or hiking!
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Magic Tree House book. Don’t forget to read last week’s article about Egyptian Acrostic Poetry!
Plus join us in two weeks time, when we will be having some ninja adventures with Jack and Annie! See you then!