The Age of Exploration Reading
Age of Exploration Geography
Using the map and the passage please answer the following questions.
1. Label the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Indian Ocean.
2. Da Gamma was the first to find a sea route to Asia. He sailed for Portugal in 1497. Find his route on the map.
Then draw his route on your map. Label the route with his name and assign a color to him.
3. Cabral was the first explorer to sail to the east coach of South America. He sailed for Portugual. Find his route on
the map. Then draw his route on your map. Label the route his name and assing a color to him.
4. By 1600, on which continents did Portugal claim or control territiory or cities? On your map, sahde the regions
claimed by Portugal and assign a color for your legend.
5. Columbus was the first explorer to sail to the Caribbean Islands. He sailed for Spain. Find his route on the map.
Then draw his route on your map. Label the route with his name ans assign a color to him.
6. Magellan was the first to lead a voyage that eventuall went around the world. He sailed for Spain. Find his route
on the map in your boko. Then draw his route on your map. Label the route with his name and assign a color to
7. Which European countries during this period sent exlorers to North American’s east coast?
8. Create a legend for your map
Answer the following questions in complete sentences.
9. Describe the route that da Gama took to reach Asia. What does his route tell you about the possible reasons
why European Monarchs wanted to find a different route to Asia?
10. Christopher Columbus sailed westward looking for a route to Asia. Wat does his expedition revel about
European’s knowledge of the world at that time?
11. Portugal was the first European country to send out exploers in the Age of Exploration. Why do you think this
The Age of Exploration Reading
This period lasted from the 1400s to the 1700s. At the same time when Europe was swept
up in the Renaissance and the Reformation,
other major changes were taking place in the
world. These changes originated in Europe,
but soon involved other continents. The
changes began with a series of voyages during
the 1400s, 1500s, and early 1600s when
European explorers ventured into the Atlantic
and Pacific oceans. Historians call this period
the Age of Exploration.
You will learn about the Age of
Exploration. This period of discovery lasted
from about 1418 to 1620. During this time,
European explorers made many daring
voyages that changed the world.
A major reason for these voyages was the desire to find ocean routes to East Asia, which
Europeans called the Indies. When Christopher Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic
Ocean, he was looking for such a route. Instead, he reached the Americas. Columbus
thought he had reached the Indies. In time, Europeans would realize that Columbus had
found what they called the “New World.” The Indies in the Atlantic became the West
Indies. European nations soon rushed to claim lands in the Americas and elsewhere.
Early explorers often suffered terrible hardships. In 1520, Ferdinand
Magellan set out with three ships to cross the Pacific Ocean from
South America. He had guessed, correctly, that Asia lay west of South
America. But Magellan had no idea how vast the Pacific Ocean
was. He thought his crew would sail for a few weeks at most. Instead,
the crossing took three months. While the ships were still at sea, the
crew ran out of food, nearly starving to death. One sailor wrote about
the terrible time. “We ate biscuit . . . swarming with worms. . . . We
drank yellow water that had been putrid [rotten] for days . . . and often
we ate sawdust from boards.”