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The Franklin Mystery: info for educators

Merna Forster

The Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History (GUMICH) project, based in the History Department at the University of Victoria, is pleased to announce the launch of a new mystery about the famous Franklin Expedition. This project provides high quality materials to universities and schools for the teaching of Canadian History. Our series is based on the premise that students can be drawn into Canadian History, critical thinking and archival research through the enticement of solving historical cold crimes and other history mysteries. Each mystery can be used in one class period or as a complete unit over many classes. All the material is provided free as a public service.

The Franklin Mystery: Life and Death in the Arctic

PDF summary of The Franklin Mystery attached.

A bilingual educational resource available online at:

130,000 words of text in English/slightly more in French
Historical still images
Images of the modern-day search for the Franklin ships and HMS Investigator
25 interviews or part-interviews with Inuit, 1869-2002
5 second-hand accounts of interviews with Inuit in the 1850s
Interactive maps
Videos and video links
6 audio interviews with Franklin experts

Classroom resources:

Five MysteryQuests re Franklin Mystery –

MysteryQuest40 – What is the artist really saying about the Franklin Expedition?

MysteryQuest41 – Redrawing the Franklin Expedition

MysteryQuest42 – Why did Inuit survive while the explorers did not?

MysteryQuest43 – What was the real motivation of the Franklin Expedition?

MysteryQuest44 – Why continue the search for Franklin?

Teachers’ Guide – “Inuit & Explorers in the Search for Franklin: ‘Exhibiting’ Voices from the Past” (Teaching Unit for Senior Secondary/Undergraduate Students).
Just register here to access the guide, available in html or pdf format:

More support for teachers: Key Concepts in Historical Thinking

The-Franklin-Mystery-Life-and-Death-in-the-Arctic.pdf553.39 KB