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The Endurance (2000 Documentary) Lesson Plan Questions

Updated on May 22, 2009

The Endurance 2000 Documentary

The Endurance is a 2000 documentary made about Shackleton's 1914 Endurance expedition.  The movie incorporates some original film and photo footage taken during the expediiton along with some new footage of the related scenery to fill in some gaps.  The documentary includes accounts from the crew (mostly reading of diary entries), as well as on screen interviews with some of the children and grandchildren of the crew.

Questions to Answer While Watching

1.  What was the goal of the Endurance expedition?

2.  How many times had Shackleton set out for the South Pole before this expedition?

3.  Why did they almost not leave for Antarctica?

4.  What was the ship named after?

5.  What are the channels of water in the pack ice called?

6.  How close in sailing days did they get to the continent?

7.  How many puppies were born on the ice?

8.  Name at least two of the ways the crew entertained themselves during the long winter months on the ice.

9.  With the ship gone and the chance to cross the Antarctic gone, what does Shackleton change his focus to?

10.  What was the Ocean Camp stove fueled with?

11.  What was the second camp they set up (after marching from Ocean Camp)?

12.  What island did they try to get to when they got into the lifeboats?  Why?

13.  Why did they change course to Elephant Island?

14.  What did they name the second place they camped on Deception Island?  What did the crew nickname it?

15.  How was the James Caird lifeboat prepared for the journey to South Georgia Island?

16.  Why was just reaching South Georgia Island not enough to be rescued?

17.  How many rescue attempts did it take to reach Elephant Island?  What was the name of the vessel they used to finally get back to rescue the left behind crew?

18.  Why was Shackleton arriving alive in Britain the wrong time for him to be seen as a hero?

19.  Why did Shackleton withhold the Polar Medal from four of the crew?


1.  To be the first ones to cross the Antarctic on foot

2. Twice

3. World War I broke out and Shackleton offered his ship and men to the British war effort, but the Admiralty told them to proceed.

4.  Shackleton’s family motto “By Endurance We Conquer”

5.  Leads

6.  One day sail

7.  Four

8.  Soccer matches, theatrical nights, weekly gramophone concerts, haircutting tournament

9.  Getting all his men back home safely

10.  Penguin skin and seal blubber

11.  Patience camp

12.  Deception Island because there was a depot of supplies for whalers there

13.  They had to reach land of some sort and that was closer than Deception Island.

14.  Cape Wild, Cape Bloody Wild

15.   It was reinforced with wood from the other life boats, seams were sealed with paint and seal’s blood, and the deck was covered with canvas.

16.  They had landed on the side opposite of the whaling station and still had to cross the uncharted interior of the island to reach the whaling station.

17.  Four, Yelcho

18.  World War I was still going on and the heroes of the time were the dead war heroes.

19.  Because they were related to the short rebellion against Shackleton’s authority on the ice

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