Age of Exploration Packet

Are you doing a unit on the Age of Exploration? Learn about all the famous explorers with this 70+page Age of Exploration Packet!  It includes worksheets/notebook pages, cards, and activities about the famous Explorers of the 1500s.

Age of Exploration Unit - Worksheets Notebook Pages

Learn about: Prince Henry the Navigator Bartolomeu Dias Vasco da Gama Christopher Columbus John Cabot Amerigo Vespucci Vasco Núñez de Balboa Juan Ponce de León Ferdinand Magellan Hernán Cortés Francisco Pizarro Hernando de Soto Francisco Vázquez de Coronado Giovanni da Verrazano and more!

Here is more about what is included in this unit:

Age of Exploration Worksheets Notebook PagesThere are three options for the Age of Exploration notebook pages. There are student fill-in-the-blank pages, full-text pages and blank note-taking pages.  I generally would print out the student fill-in-the-blank page for my kids and the full-text page for myself and we would go over the material together, but at times I would print out the note-taking page and have them do research on their own and provide their own answers.

Age of Exploration Notebook Pages

We are coming at the Age of Exploration from the context of World History.  We had studied the Renaissance and Reformation (be sure to check out those resources below!).  We are doing this unit before diving into more depth on the Age of Absolutism (the absolute monarchs of Europe).

Some of you, though, may be studying this unit at the beginning of your studies of American History. The pages that I made and the resources I recommend are good for either approach. 🙂

We read sections from a world history textbook, but that text didn’t go into much detail about the adventures and exploits of these famous explorers.

Explorers-of-the-New-WorldI borrowed quite a number of resources from the library and browsed through all of them.  By far the best resource (and the one we read from cover to cover) was Explorers in the New World. (affiliate link) The stories about each of the explorers (or conquistadors) were told in a compelling way and in much more detail than most of the other resources we have on hand.  It’s recommended for grades 3 to 7. My kids are currently in grades 3, 6, and 8.  This book also has fun hands-on activities, though we didn’t do any of them, but we read the whole book from cover to cover!

A People's History of the United States - ZinnIf your kids are ages 13+, you might want to read the chapter on Columbus in Howard Zinn’s well known book, A People’s History of the United States. (affiliate link) It is titled, “Columbus, the Indians and Human Progress.” It will really make your teen *think* about everything they’ve ever learned about Columbus.  I highly recommend this, though what it covers is some appalling events and statistics.

We also read selections from The World Made New.  The small time lines across the bottom of each page were useful. I wouldn’t recommend buying it (as I would the others), but if your library has it, it is definitely worth checking out and adding to your unit.

We also read Exploration and Conquest, the Americas after Columbus, which did a great job showing the explorations of North America (and is a good follow on book to Explorers of the New World).  This touches on the Atlantic Slave Trade (We went into depth about slave trade in another unit. You can check out our resources here at these posts: Slavery Unit: Books and DVDs we Used and Slavery and the Civil War).


We also watched a number of documentaries and videos.

The kids really loved South America: Rock the Capitals. It’s a fun and a great/quick way to learn the capitals (and locations) of Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil.  We spent time learning this song six years ago when we studied South America. We made South America cookie maps way back then and other activities (songs, etc.).  🙂 South-america-cookie-map Now back to the Explorers!  In this Age of Exploration set we covered

  • Prince Henry the Navigator
  • Bartolomeu Dias, 1487-1488
  • Treaty of Tordesillas (1494)
  • Vasco da Gama
  • Christopher Columbus
  • John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto)
  • Amerigo Vespucci
  • Vasco Núñez de Balboa
  • Juan Ponce de León
  • Ferdinand Magellan
  • Hernán Cortés
  • Francisco Pizarro
  • Hernando de Soto
  • Francisco Vázquez de Coronado
  • Giovanni da Verrazano
  • Jacques Cartier (1534)

I would have my older kids take notes (on the notebook pages I made) as I read some of the selections from the books I mentioned above. The packet includes some teacher notes about each of the explorers as well.

Age of Exploration - Worksheets on the explorers

In this packet, we have a review page (match the explorer to his accomplishments). I also made a set of cards and we used these for review. (The yellow map is one I had from my teaching days. We used the cards to review the explorer’s sea route and to explain what they discovered.)

Age of Exploration Worksheet CardsI didn’t expect the kids to memorize the names/dates, but I did want them to come away understanding how this race for better trading routes and domination of the seas changed the power scene in Europe with Portugal become the leading trading power in the early 1500s, followed by Spain, and then finally with England building a world empire.

At the end of the unit, the kids did a writing assignment. My older two had to write and essay. My youngest wrote a story set in this time period.  The instructions for those writing projects are also included in this packet.

This packet was recently updated to include new material.  Here are some new pictures of what is included!

Age of Exploration Unit Worksheets - history of world trade

Age of Exploration Map Worksheets

We spent some time on the (modern) geography of Central America and the Caribbean when we talked about the Mayans and Aztecs.  I added in a few new pages with that new material.

Maya Aztec Inca Civilizations - Worksheets and Notebook Pages

The Age of Exploration Packet is $6.99.

Our packets are PDF digital downloads. You will receive a download link from SendOwl (the automatic delivery service I use) to your PayPal email address. If you have any questions or need to contact me feel free to send me an email! ~Liesl

Age of Exploration Packet


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Age of Exploration Unit

Other History Resources we have available:

$6.99 13 Colonies Unit – a 70-page unit that covers Roanoke, Jamestown, Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, Pennsylvania, Georgia and the others. Plus, it explores the Puritans, Salem Witch Trials & Bacon’s Rebellion. More details at this post.

13 Colonies Worksheet Packet


$7.99 U.S. States and Capitals Packet – See more details at this post.

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$7.99 American Revolution Packet You can find more about that unit here: American Revolution Unit

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American Revolution Unit - Worksheets and Activities American Revolution Worksheets Notebook Pages Chronology Cards and More American Revolution Note-Taking Booklet American Revolution Booklet Teacher Notes Provided Causes-of-Events-Leading-to-American-Revolution-Worksheets

  $7.99 Slavery and the Civil War You can find out more about our Slavery and the Civil War Unit here.

The Slavery and Civil War Unit covers the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery in the New World, Territorial Growth, and the Civil War.

slavery-worksheetsSlavery and the Civil War - Worksheets Notebook Pagesterritorial-growth-worksheetsCivil War WorksheetsMajor battles of the Civil War Worksheets and Activities

$7.99 Middle Ages – Feudalism Packet Click here to find out more: Middle Ages-Feudalism Unit

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Middle Ages and Feudalism Packet

Middle Ages Unit - Worksheets, Chronology Cards, Notebook Pages, Feudalism Simulation, Activities

European History Packet: Click here to find out more: European History Packet

$6.99 European History Packet (90+ Pages) Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Absolutism, Scientific Revolution, Enlightenment

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European History Packet - 1500 to 1750 Renaissance Reformation Age of Absolutism Scientific Revolution EnlightenmentDon’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

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Here is more information about the European History Packet:

European History Packet - 1500 to 1750 Renaissance Reformation Age of Absolutism Scientific Revolution Enlightenment

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And you might want to visit the posts from our Middle Ages Unit (Some of these posts also include some free notebook pages):


Black Plague Simulation Activity

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