David Livingstone: Missionary, Physician, and Explorer.
The extraordinary life of David Livingstone is well worth diving into for students that are studying Victorian history, and the history of Africa. It is especially exciting for those that also are curious about geography, botany, and medicine.
The Extraordinary Life of David Livingstone
As a child, Livingston lived with his six siblings in a one-room apartment near Glasgow, Scotland. He began working in the fabric mills at the age of 10. Young David went to school at night (after working all day). He saved the money he made working and at the age of 19, he was accepted to medical school.
Livingstone finished his medical and surgical training in London. Immediately after graduation set off to Africa as a missionary. In his lifetime, David Livingston:
- discovered and mapped unknown regions of Africa for the first time and even named the largest waterfall in Africa, previously only known to the local tribes.
- discovered and implemented a remedy for malaria that is still used today.
- survived a lion attack.
- took the first steps to abolish slavery after witnessing atrocities first-hand while exploring central and southern Africa.
- traveled to Africa multiple times to continue his medical work and exploration of various regions throughout Africa.
- became a trusted advocate for African tribes throughout central and southern Africa.
Use these resources with your middle and high school students to learn about this famous physician, missionary, explorer, and civil rights pioneer.
Curriculum Guides & Unit Studies
David Livingstone: African Trailblazer is an exciting biography about the life and experiences of David Livingstone. It now comes with a unit study guide that is excellent in providing engaging resources to help better understand the impact of Livingstone on so many areas of Victorian life and history. A curriculum guide is also available.
David Livingstone was born in Blantyre Scotland. The David Livingstone Birthplace Project, in Scotland and the digital museum are both excellent resources for learning using primary documents and resources. If you get the opportunity to visit Scotland, don’t miss the tour of his family’s one-room apartment and the mill his family worked in near Glasgow, Scotland.
There is also the David Livingstone Museum in Zambia dedicated to Livingstone. Visit (in person or virtually) the museum near the waterfall named after Queen Victoria.
David Livingstone is buried in Westminster Abbey, in London England, where you can read the gravestone & commemoration.
Livingstone’s extensive travel to Africa and his detailed maps of the regions he discovered are exciting additions to any African history and geography study. Middle & high schoolers will enjoy exploring these resources for detailed drawings that correspond to his discoveries on multiple journeys to Africa.
National Library of Scotland – Livingstone’s contribution to mapping an unknown world.
Livingstone’s Missionary Travels – an excellent resource for a deep dive into all things Livingstone. This resource is perfect for research projects for history, geography, medicine, and so much more.
Celebrate March with David Livingstone & Other Famous Folks
David Livingstone was born on March 19th, making spring a perfect time to learn more about his expeditions and discoveries.
For more fun history and geography activities, your middle school and high school students will enjoy the Hello March! Famous People & Fun Activities. There is a fun learning activity for every day of the month.
Shannan is a wife, mum, and saved by grace child of The King. Her home base is in Scotland, where she homeschools her two kids (ages 12 & 15) and learns on location throughout Europe as much as possible. She is a classical/Charlotte Mason style home educator living out her God-breathed dream of raising her family in Europe. She’s passionate about many things, especially helping others learn on location using the world as their classroom. She encourages you to pursue your God-breathed dream, no matter what it is! You can join her at Captivating Compass for homeschool and family travel inspiration.
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