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Age of Discovery Webquest

by Gail Skroback Hennessey

There were many explorers during the Age of Exploration(1400-1700), a time when many people explored the planet by boat. At the time, most people believed the earth was flat and that the planet did not move. It was also believed that the sun and stars revolved around the Earth. It was also thought that there was one large ocean that surrounded the three known land masses-Asia, Europe and Africa. Early explorers were very brave as as they sailed intomostly uncharted territory. There were many real dangers such as running out of food and water before reaching land, drowning and getting lost and never returning home.Many people of the time believed the ocean was filled with sea monsters. People also thought there was a burning furnace in the ocean that would set ships ablaze and that there was a giant magnet in the ocean that would pull nails from the hull of a ship! Get your compass and astrolabe, pack your bag and let's explore the Age of Exploration.

1. When Columbus arrived in the area of Cuba, he discovered natives using "hammocks"". He really liked the idea and thought it would work great for sailors aboard ships. What were two fears of the crew on the 1492 voyage?____________ and ______________Why did the crew almost mutiny against Columbus?________________Which country funded Columbus’ voyages?__________ Find the answers at this link:

2.Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan left in 1519, with five ships and 270 men,on a voyage to sail around the world. Funded by the Spanish King,Charles 1st,the ships sailed westward from Seville, Spain, across the Atlantic Ocean to South America. After much searching, a passage was located that could take the ships around the continent of South America. The strait, later called the Strait of Magellan, eventually got Magellan and crew through to the Pacific Ocean.Why did Magellan choose the name of the Pacific for the ocean?________________________ Describe three things about the conditions on the ships.______________ ___________ ________________ Although Magellan didn't complete the voyage to "circumnavigate the world",as he was killed by natives on the island of the Philippines, how many ships and men DID survived the trip around the world, that returned in 1522?_____________________________What did sailor Antonio Pigafetta do that was very important in history?________________Find the answers at this link:
Find the answers at this

3. First developed by the Portuguese,the caravel was a light sailing ship that became very popular as the ship of choice during the Age of Discovery. What was it able to do better than other ships?____________________What was the most number of sails a caravel had?_____How did the caravel get its name?____________________
_Find the answers at this link:

Note:There are 14 questions in the webquest and 10 extension activities(and links).Want the complete webquest? Go to my Teachers Pay Teachers link below.

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Updated 1/2015