Age Of Exploration Map Assignment

Explorer Printables

These activities can be printed, reproduced, and distributed to students by schools, teachers, or parents, free of charge on an unlimited basis as long as the MrNussbaum Logo remains intact.
Age of Exploration Printable: Simply an information printable describing the progression of the Age of Exploration in the New World.
Age of Exploration Reading Comprehension: 10 questions and passage
Jacques Cartier Reading Comprehension 10 Questions and Passage
Christopher Columbus Reading Comprehension Grade 3: 10 Questions and Passage
Christopher Columbus Reading Comprehension Grade 4: 10 Questions and Passage
Christopher Columbus Reading Comprehension Grade 5: 10 Questions and Passage
Christopher Columbus Reading Comprehension Grade 5 – Main Idea Focus: 4 questions and passage
Ponce de Leon Reading Comprehension Grade 4: 10 Questions and Passage
Reading Comprehension Answers
Robert Sieur de la Salle Reading Comprehension Grade 4: 10 Questions and Passage
European Lands in the New World Map: – This map shows the different land claims of European powers in the New World in 1700.
Build your own Chart: French Explorers Guide: This chart comes illustrated with the pictures of five famous French Explorers (Cartier, Champlain, Verrazzano, Marquette and Joliet, and Lasalle). Underneath each picture is an area for students to write notes on their explorations.
Build your own Chart: Spanish Explorers Guide: This chart comes illustrated with the pictures of six famous Spanish Explorers (Columbus, Magellan, deSoto, Coronado, and Balboa, and de Leon). Underneath each picture is an area for students to write notes on their explorations.
Build your own chart: Explorer Motivations, Obstacles and Achievements: This chart will help students organize the many different motivations, obstacles, and achievements in the Age of Exploration
Mythical Sea Monsters Coloring Printable: This printable shows illustrations of the two sea monsters that were most feared by sailors in the Age of Exploration. Students then face the challenge of making their own interpretations of these mythical horrors.
Exploring a New Planet: Play the role of a world famous explorer making startling discoveries! This is a fun assignment in which students play the role of an explorer on a new planet similar to Earth. Students are given a map and are assigned with the task of naming the continents and oceans, tracing a circumnavigation route, and taking notes on new creatures and landforms they find.
Spanish Explorers Geography: Where in the New world did they make their discoveries? This printables requires students to label the discoveries of five Spanish explorers on a map of North America.
From the Pen of a Sailor: Editing a letter in bad shape: This printable requires students to edit and correct a letter written by an fictional Age of Exploration sailor to his parents.
Christopher Columbus Paralaugh (mad lib): This fun activity requires students to enter nouns, verbs, and adjectives into the blanks to make a hilarious story.
Mount Explorer: This activity requires students to re-build Mount Rushmore using the heads of four different explorers. Students can choose from nine different explorers and then must discuss their reasoning.
Mythical Places: This activity teaches students about mythical places that explorers believed existed such as the Fountain of Youth, the Seven Cities of Cibola, the Kingdom of Saguenay, and the Kingdom of Prester John. After reading, students are asked to imagine what such places would look like if they did existed and to draw and color their interpretations.
Explorer Trading Card: Kids love trading cards and they will love making their own explorer trading card. Simply have them research an explorer of their choice. Then, have them fill out the information on the card and draw their picture of the explorer in the space provided.

Other Social Studies Printables





Artistic Encounters between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas
The great period of discovery from the latter half of the fifteenth through the sixteenth century is generally referred to as the Age of Exploration. It is exemplified by the Genoese navigator, Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), who undertook a voyage to the New World under the auspices of the Spanish monarchs, Isabella I of Castile (r. 1474–1504) and Ferdinand II of Aragon (r. 1479–1516). The Museum’s jerkin (26.196) and helmet (32.132) beautifully represent the type of clothing worn by the people of Spain during this period. The age is also recognized for the first English voyage around the world by Sir Francis Drake (ca. 1540–1596), who claimed the San Francisco Bay for Queen Elizabeth; Vasco da Gama’s (ca. 1460–1524) voyage to India, making the Portuguese the first Europeans to sail to that country and leading to the exploration of the west coast of Africa; Bartolomeu Dias’ (ca. 1450–1500) discovery of the Cape of Good Hope; and Ferdinand Magellan’s (1480–1521) determined voyage to find a route through the Americas to the east, which ultimately led to discovery of the passage known today as the Strait of Magellan.

To learn more about the impact on the arts of contact between Europeans, Africans, and Indians, see The Portuguese in Africa, 1415–1600, Afro-Portuguese Ivories, African Christianity in Kongo, African Christianity in Ethiopia, and The Art of the Mughals before 1600.

Scientific Advancements and the Arts in Europe
In addition to the discovery and colonization of far off lands, these years were filled with major advances in cartography and navigational instruments, as well as in the study of anatomy and optics. The visual arts responded to scientific and technological developments with new ideas about the representation of man and his place in the world. For example, the formulation of the laws governing linear perspective by Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1446) in the early fifteenth century, along with theories about idealized proportions of the human form, influenced artists such as Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519). Masters of illusionistic technique, Leonardo and Dürer created powerfully realistic images of corporeal forms by delicately rendering tendons, skin tissues, muscles, and bones, all of which demonstrate expertly refined anatomical understanding. Dürer’s unfinished Salvator Mundi (32.100.64), begun about 1505, provides a unique opportunity to see the artist’s underdrawing and, in the beautifully rendered sphere of the earth in Christ’s left hand, metaphorically suggests the connection of sacred art and the realms of science and geography.

Although the Museum does not have objects from this period specifically made for navigational purposes, its collection of superb instruments and clocks reflects the advancements in technology and interest in astronomy of the time, for instance Petrus Apianus’ Astronomicum Caesareum (25.17). This extraordinary Renaissance book contains equatoria supplied with paper volvelles, or rotating dials, that can be used for calculating positions of the planets on any given date as seen from a given terrestrial location. The celestial globe with clockwork (17.190.636) is another magnificent example of an aid for predicting astronomical events, in this case the location of stars as seen from a given place on earth at a given time and date. The globe also illustrates the sun’s apparent movement through the constellations of the zodiac.

Portable devices were also made for determining the time in a specific latitude. During the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the combination of compass and sundial became an aid for travelers. The ivory diptych sundial was a specialty of manufacturers in Nuremberg. The Museum’s example (03.21.38) features a multiplicity of functions that include giving the time in several systems of counting daylight hours, converting hours read by moonlight into sundial hours, predicting the nights that would be illuminated by the moon, and determining the dates of the movable feasts. It also has a small opening for inserting a weather vane in order to determine the direction of the wind, a feature useful for navigators. However, its primary use would have been meteorological.

James Voorhies
Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

October 2002

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