The Age of Exploration and Discovery: 1450-1700
…a Youth Services Homework Helper

print thisThis Homework Helper provides students with excellent sources for papers and research projects
principally on The Age of Exploration and Discovery: 1450-1700. Included are reference books to use in the Library, books to check out, electronic resources, websites, historical fiction books, and a glossary. Many of these materials point out that Native Americans were already in the Americas for thousands of years; however, the European explorers were the first to map the New World and to claim what they discovered for their countries.

 

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Reference Books to Use in the Library

Ciovacco, Justine. The Encyclopedia of Explorers and Adventurers. 2003.
J REF 910.922 C
Briefly describes the life and accomplishments of men and women who have made significant contributions as explorers and adventurers throughout history. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Explorers: From Ancient Times to the Space Age. 1999. Three volumes.
J REF 910.922 E
Astrolabe
Astrolabe, used to measure the angle of the planets above the horizon
Contains profiles of 333 men and women who discovered unknown lands, mapped unfamiliar regions, and described the peoples, flora, and fauna that they encountered in their travels. Includes introductory essays, biographical profiles in alphabetical order, glossary, list of explorers by nationality, list of explorers by area of exploration, and bibliographical references.
The Grolier Student Library of Explorers and Exploration. 1998.
J REF 910.9 G
Includes the Voyages of Columbus, Search of a Northwest Passage, the Northeast Passage, Rounding the Cape, and Privateers and the New Worlds.
  • Volume 2: The Golden Age of Exploration
  • Volume 3: Europe’s Imperial Adventures
  • Volume 6: North America
The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Discovery and Exploration. 1990.
J REF 910.9 M
Tells the stories of the most intrepid explorers and their voyages and discoveries. Includes timelines for individual explorers, glossary, and index.
  • Volumes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Newby, Eric. The Rand McNally World Atlas of Exploration. 1975.
J REF 910.9 N
Relates the story of the explorers from the perspective of the motives, means, and the consequences of the explorations. Includes bibliographic references and index.
Reformation, Exploration, and Empire. 2005. Ten volumes.
J REF 909.503 R
Contains information about the key period of western history from around 1500 to 1700. Includes timeline from 1492 to 1715, glossary, bibliographic references, and index.
Waldman, Carl and Alan Wexler. Who Was Who in World Exploration. 1992.
J REF 910.92 W
Presents a comprehensive survey of the lives, expeditions, and significant contributions of more than 800 explorers from around the world. Included are names of those who promoted, organized, and financed expeditions and cartographers, geographers and historians. In alphabetical order with appendixes of explorers by region and maps of the world. Includes bibliographic references.
Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E. An Age of Voyages, 1350-1600. 2005.
J REF 909.5 W
Provides coverage of the political, cultural, and social history of the world from 1350 to 1600. Includes primary sources, for example, Christopher Columbus’ letter to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, in 1492, written on the way back from his first voyage. Includes timeline, glossary, and bibliographic references.

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Nonfiction Books to Check Out

Grades 1 through 4
Donaldson-Forbes, Jeff. Hernán Cortés. 2002.
JE 972.02092 D
Tells the story of the Spanish explorer who conquered and destroyed the Aztec empire. Includes glossary and index.
Compass
Compass, used to guide ships toward land.
Donaldson-Forbes, Jeff. Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet. 2002.
JE 977.010922 D
Presents a brief biography of the seventh-century explorers who were the first Europeans to locate and chart the Mississippi River. Includes glossary and index.
Donaldson-Forbes, Jeff. La Salle. 2002.
JE 977.01092 D
Discusses the French explorer’s relationship with the Native Americans, expeditions to seek the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and the claiming of new territories for France’s king, Louis XIV. Includes glossary and index.
Hurwicz, Claude. Ferdinand Magellan. 2001.
JE 910.92 H
Describes the life and travels of the Portuguese sea captain who commanded the first expedition that sailed around the world. Includes index.
Hurwicz, Claude. Henry Hudson. 2001.
JE 910.92 H
Describes the adventures of the seventeenth-century English explorer, from his search for a short route from Europe to the Orient, to his mysterious disappearance after members of his crew mutinied. Includes index.
Larkin, Tanya. John Cabot. 2001.
JE 970.017092 L
Describes the life and voyages of the Italian-born explorer who claimed land in the New World for England, in 1497. Includes index.
Larkin, Tanya. Sir Francis Drake. 2001.
JE 942.055092 L
Describes the life and explorations of the seaman, Francis Drake, the first Englishman to sail around the world. Includes glossary and index.
Maestro, Betsy and Giulio Maestro. Discovery of the Americas. 1991.
JE 970.01 M
Analyzes voyages which definitely occurred and voyages which may have occurred. This discussion includes the Phoenicians, St. Brendan of Ireland, the Vikings, and later European navigators Columbus, Cabot, and Magellan. Includes table of dates.

Grades 5 through 8
Beales, R.A. James Cook: The Pacific Coast and Beyond. 2006.
J 910.92 B
Discusses the English explorer: Charting the Pacific, Before Cook, Cook’s Early Life, Cook’s Three Voyages, Life at Sea, On the Pacific, The Kaua’i (People of Hawaii), Peoples of the Pacific, After Captain Cook, and Cook’s Legacy. Includes table of contents, glossary, and index.
Burnett, Betty. Ferdinand Magellan: The First Voyage Around the World. 2003.
J 910.92 B
Describes the life and voyage of the sixteenth-century Portuguese sea captain who commanded the first expedition to sail around the world. Includes bibliographical references, chronology, glossary, and index.
DeAngelis, Gina. Francisco Pizarro and the Conquest of the Inca. 2001.
J 985.02092 D
Buffalo
Buffalo, one of the furst North American wonders seen by Coronado and his men.
Discusses the Spanish conquistador who led a small but well-trained army along the Pacific coast of South America, conquered the Inca Empire, which ruled Peru, and established Spanish rule. Includes bibliographical references, chronology, glossary, and index.
Freedman, Russell. Who Was First? Discovering the Americas. 2007.
J 970.01 F
Examines the evidence for determining who first discovered the Americas through anecdotes, archaeological evidence, maps, illustrations, different points of view, and unanswered questions. Includes Christopher Columbus, Chinese explorer Zheng He, Vikings, and Native Americans, from ancient civilizations to the time just before the arrival of the Europeans. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Fritz, Jean. Around the World in a Hundred Years: From Henry the Navigator to Magellan. 1994.
J 910.922 F
Examines the great wave of European exploration during the fifteenth century which resulted in more accurate maps. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Gallagher, Aileen. Prince Henry the Navigator: Pioneer of Modern Exploration. 2002.
J 946.902092 G
Profiles the Portuguese prince whose financial report enabled explorers to claim new lands, spread Christianity, and increase trade between Europe and Africa. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Gallagher, Jim. Ferdinand Magellan and the First Voyage Around the World. 2000.
J 910.92 G
Presents the Portuguese sea captain who commanded the first voyage to successfully sail around the world. Also discusses the spice trade and naval wars. Includes bibliographical references and index. (Grades 4-6)
Goodman, Joan Elizabeth. A Long and Uncertain Journey: The 27,000 Mile Journey of Vasco da Gama. 2001.
J 910.92 G
Portrays the Portuguese explorer who joined in the quest for a water route to the Orient, losing half of his men and most of his ships. Includes index.
Harmon, Daniel E. La Salle and the Exploration of the Mississippi. 2001.
J 977.01092 H
Presents the French explorer who claimed a huge area of the new continent of North America, the entire Mississippi River basin, for the French king, Louis XIV, and named it Louisiana, in his honor. Includes bibliographical references, glossary, and index.
Johnstone, Michael. The History News: Explorers. 1997.
J 910.92 J
Uses a newspaper format to present the adventures and accomplishments of such explorers as Columbus, Cortés, and Cook. Includes index.
Kneib, Martha. Christopher Columbus: Master Italian Navigator in the Court of Spain. 2003.
J 970.015 K
Describes the explorer’s lifelong interest in the sea and his voyages of discovery to the Americas. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Koestler-Grack, Rachel A. Hernando Cortés and the Fall of the Aztecs. 2006.
J 972.02092 K
Covers the Spanish explorer’s life from his youth to his conquest of the Aztecs. Highlights Moctezuma, ruler of the Aztecs, and the Aztec resistance to the Spanish conquest. Includes bibliographical references, chronology, and index.
Krensky, Stephen. Who Really Discovered America?. 1987
J 970.01 K
Examines the races, tribes, wanderers, and explorers who may have found America before Columbus, including the prehistoric nomads who crossed the land bridge from Asia and possible Polynesian, Phoenician, and European visitors by sea. Includes question and answer format and index.
Lackey, Jennifer. Jacques Cartier: Exploring the St. Lawrence River. 2007.
J 971.0113 L
Provides an account of the European explorer responsible for creating the first French settlement in the Americas, at the present-day cities of Montreal and Quebec City in Canada. Includes index.
Larkin, Tanya. Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet: Explorers of the Mississippi. 2004.
J 977.010922 L
Tells the story of two French explorers who originally set off to find a Northwest Passage but instead became the first Europeans to explore and map the Mississippi River. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Larkin, Tanya. Vasco da Gama. 2001.
J 946.902092 L
Presents the Portuguese explorer who opened up the lands to the east of Europe by discovering a waterway to India. Includes bibliographical references, maps, and index.
Levinson, Nancy Smiler. Magellan and the First Voyage Around the World. 2001.
J 910.92 L
Portrays the Portuguese explorer who was first to circumnavigate the world. Includes bibliographic references, chronology of events, source notes, and index.
Maestro, Betsy. Exploration and Conquest: The Americas After Columbus, 1500-1620. 1994.
J 970.01 M
Longboat
Longboat, used by ships' crews to travel across shallow waters.
Provides a detailed account of the explorers and conquerors who came to the Americas after Columbus. Analyzes the impact these Europeans had on the cultures of the peoples already living in North America. Includes table of dates and Native American Contributions to the World.
Mountjoy, Shane. Francisco Pizarro and the Conquest of the Inca. 2006.
J 985.02092 M
Researches Pizarro’s conquest of the Inca Empire, rulers of Peru, in the 1500s, which gave Spain control of vast wealth and most of the Americas south of what becomes the United States. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Paige, Joy. Sir Francis Drake: Circumnavigator of the Globe and Privateer for Queen Elizabeth. 2003.
J 942.055092 P
Gives a detailed account of the Italian explorer’s voyages on behalf of Portugal and Spain. Points out Vespucci’s realization that North America was a separate continent. Includes bibliographical references, chronology, glossary, and index.
Ray, Kurt. Amerigo Vespucci: Italian Explorer of the Americas. 2004.
J 970.016092 R
Gives a detailed account of the Italian explorer's voyages on behalf of Portugal and spain. Points out Vespucci's realization that North America was a separate continent. Includes bibliographical references, chronology, glossary, and index.
Sherman, Josepha. Henry Hudson: English Explorer of the Northwest Passage. 2003.
J 910.92 S
Outlines the events of this English explorer’s famous Arctic journeys and his search for the Northwest Passage to Asia. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Shields, Charles J. James Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific. 2002.
J 910.92 S
Describes the English navigator’s impressive skills to explore the vast Pacific Ocean and his voyages to Tahiti and to the bottom of the world to look for another continent. Includes bibliographical references, chronology, glossary, and index.
Stanley, George Edward. The European Settlement of North America, 1492-1763. 2005.
J 970.02 S
Recounts how various groups of Europeans followed Columbus to North America in search of riches, only to settle there and develop a desire for independence. Includes facsimiles of primary sources: documents, charters, diaries, journals, and letters. Also includes bibliographical references and index.
Stefoff, Rebecca. Exploring the New World. 2001.
J 970.01 S
Traces the exploration of the Americas from the arrival of the Asian hunters in Alaska more than 15,000 years ago to the English and French settlers in the early 1600s. Includes glossary, maps, timelines, bibliographical references and index.
Stein, R. Conrad. Hernando de Soto: A Life of Adventure. 2005.
J 970.016092 S
Details the explorer’s early life, especially his travels with Pizzaro, and, in his later life, his own expeditions to the Americas. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, and index.
Waldman, Stuart. We Asked for Nothing: The Remarkable Journey of Cabeza de Vaca. 2003.
J 970.016 W
Discusses the Spanish explorer’s travels through Texas and Mexico, from 1528 through 1536, looking closely at his relations with the Native Americans with whom he shared his journeys. Includes bibliographical references and index.

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Biographies

Grades 1 through 4
Hoogenboom, Lynn. Amerigo Vespucci: A Primary Source Biography. 2006.
JE B V5812ho
Conveys doubt about the Italian explorer’s four voyages made between 1497-1504; nevertheless, his influence helped Columbus and two continents are named after him. Includes glossary and index.
Kaufman, Mervyn D. Christopher Columbus. 2004.
JE B C7265ka
Introduces the 15th Century Italian explorer who discovered America. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, glossary, and index.
Kaufman, Merwyn D. Ferdinand Magellan. 2004.
JE B M1918ka
Introduces the life of sixteenth-century Portuguese explorer who found a passage for ships to sail west from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, glossary, and index.
Kline, Trish. Christopher Columbus: Discover the Life of an Explorer. 2002.
JE B C7265kL
Discusses the explorer’s childhood, escape from pirates, learning about map making, help from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, claiming land for Spain, and his last voyage. Includes table of contents, timeline, glossary, and index.
Kline, Trish. Francisco Coronado. 2003.
JE B C8225kL
Cross-staff
Cross-staff, used to find latitude by measuring the altitude of the Pole Star above the horizon.
Introduces the life of the 16th Century explorer who searched for cities of gold in parts of the American Southwest, but only discovered Indian villages. Includes bibliographical references, glossary, and index.
Kline, Trish. Francisco Pizarro. 2003.
JE B P695kL
Introduces the Spanish explorer who was sent to Peru to conquer the Incas and claim their land and wealth for the Spanish crown. Includes glossary, bibliographical references and index.
Kline, Trish. Hernán Cortés. 2003.
JE B C8281kL
Features the life of the Spanish explorer who discovered Baja California and explored the Pacific coast of Mexico, and became notorious for conquering the Aztecs. Includes bibliographical references, glossary, and index.
Kline, Trish. Henry Hudson: Discover the Life of an Explorer. 2003.
JE B H8858kL
Introduces the life of Henry Hudson, the English sea captain, who explored the Arctic Ocean and the river and bay later named for him, while in search of a northern route to the Orient. Includes bibliographical references, glossary, and index.
Kline, Trish. Robert La Salle: Discover the Life of an Explorer. 2002.
JE B L3383kL
Explains the French explorer’s success in claiming the Louisiana Territory for France and exploring the whole Mississippi River. Includes bibliographical references, glossary, and index.
Kline, Trish. Sir Francis Drake. 2003.
JE B D7613kL
Presents the English seaman and explorer who claimed the land known as California for the Queen of England and who became the first man from England to sail around the world, in 1580. Includes glossary, bibliographical references and index.
McFarren, Kathleen. Vasco Da Gama. 2004.
JE B G1841mc
Conveys information about the fifteenth-century Portuguese explorer, who strengthened his nation’s power by expanding trade routes to India. Includes timeline, glossary, and index.
McPherson, Stephanie Sammartino. Sir Walter Raleigh. 2005.
J B R1633mc
Tells the story of the English soldier, poet, protector of Queen Elizabeth I of England, scientist, pirate, and explorer, who started the first English settlement in the New World and helped lead the way to starting the colonies which later became part of the United States of America. (Grades 4 to 6)
Nobleman, Marc Tyler. Juan Ponce De León. 2005.
JE B P7928no
Examines the life of the sixteenth-century explorer, who played an important role in the history of Puerto Rico and who discovered and named Florida. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, glossary, and index.

Grades 5 through 8
Calvert, Patricia. Hernando Cortés: Fortune Favored the Bold. 2003.
J B C8281ca
Describes the life of the Spanish explorer who discovered Baja California and explored the Pacific coast of Mexico and is best remembered for conquering the Aztec empire. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, source notes, and index.
Calvert, Patricia. Vasco Da Gama: So Strong a Spirit. 2005.
J B G1841ca
Recounts the voyages of the fifteenth-century Portuguese explorer to strengthen his nation’s power by establishing a sea route to India. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, source notes, and index.
Collier, James Lincoln. Christopher Columbus: To the New World. 2007.
J B C7265co
Discusses the life of the Italian explorer, the results of his accomplishments, and the Renaissance period. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, and index.
Doak, Robin S. Christopher Columbus: Explorer of the New World. 2005.
J B C7265do
Profiles the life of the fifteenth-century explorer who opened up the Americas to the Europeans. Includes glossary, timeline, bibliographical references, and index.
Faber, Harold. La Salle: Down the Mississippi. 2002.
J B L3383fa
Hammock
Hammock, discovered by Columbus and adopted by European sailors to make sleeping on board ship more comfortable.
Discusses the French explorer’s youth and his five expeditions, which included his exploration of the Mississippi River Valley. Includes bibliographical references, source notes, timeline, and index.
Fradin, Dennis Brindell. Amerigo Vespucci. 1991.
J B V5812fr
Traces the life of the famed explorer, born in Florence, who discovered Brazil, Venezuela, and the Amazon River, and had two continents named for him. Includes bibliographical references, glossary, and index.
Gibbons, Faye. Hernando De Soto: A Search for Gold and Glory. 2002.
J B S7182gi
Presents the life of the Spanish conquistador, the first European explorer to reach the Mississippi River. Based on three “eyewitness” accounts by members of the expedition and other accounts written by historians, one who wrote a more romantic than factual accounting. Includes glossary, pronunciation guide of Spanish and Native American names and places, and index.
Grant, Neil. Eric the Red: The Viking Adventurer. 1997.
J B E68gr
Tells the story of the Viking explorer and his son, Leif Ericsson, who discovered North America, which he named Vinland, over a thousand years ago. Includes index and author’s note about Eric the Red and the Viking Sagas (stories handed down).
Landau, Elaine. Ferdinand Magellan. 2005.
J B M1918La
Includes bibliographical references, timeline, and index. Describes the Portuguese explorer who led the first voyage around the world. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, and index.
Meltzer, Milton. Francisco Pizarro: The Conquest of Peru. 2003.
J B P695me
Introduces the Spanish explorer who was sent to Peru in the sixteenth century by the king of Spain to conquer the Incas and claim the land for the Spanish crown. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, and index.
Molzahn, Arlene Bourgeois. Christopher Columbus: Famous Explorer. 2003.
J B C7265mo
Describes the life of the Italian explorer, who accidentally discovered America, while looking for a route to the Indies, for Spain’s king and queen. Includes bibliographical references, maps, words to know, and index.
Otfinoski, Steven. Francisco Coronado: In Search of the Seven Cities of Gold. 2003.
J B C8225ot
Contains A Gentleman of Spain, A New Life in the New World, The Grandest Expedition, The Battle of Cibola, Lands of Wonders, Troubles at Tiguex, The Sea of Grass, End of the Rainbow, and A Conquistador’s Fall. Includes bibliographical references, source notes, timeline, and index.
Otfinoski, Steven. Henry Hudson: In Search of the Northwest Passage. 2007.
J B H8858ot
Tells the story of the explorer who sailed for his native England and the Netherlands in search of a northern passage to the East. Includes bibliographical references, source notes, and index.
Otfinoski, Steven. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa: Explorer of the Pacific. 2005.
J B B1736ot
Describes the life of the Spanish explorer who was the first European to see the Pacific Ocean and who conceived the idea of a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Rice, Jr., Earle. Sir Francis Drake: Navigator and Pirate. 2003.
J B D7613ri
Presents the story of the sixteenth century English explorer who became a national hero for sailing around the world and for battling the Spanish Armada. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, source notes, and index.
Santella, Andrew. Sieur de LaSalle. 2002.
J B L3383sa
Presents an account of the French explorer’s life and explorations and examines their impact on history and the world. Includes bibliographical references, maps, glossary, and index.
Somervill, Barbara A. Francisco Pizarro: Conqueror of the Incas. 2005.
J B P695so
Profiles the life and career of the Spanish explorer and conqueror who marched into the Inca Empire, held the Inca king for ransom, stuffed his pockets with gold, and became governor of Peru. Includes timeline, glossary, bibliographical references and index.
Sutcliffe, Jane. Juan Ponce de León. 2005.
J B P7928su
Presents the life of the Spanish explorer who did not find the “fountain of youth” but did explore the island we know as Puerto Rico, “La Florida,” and discovered the Gulf Stream, a fast moving current of water. Includes bibliographical references, timeline, and index.

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Fiction Books

Conrad, Pam and Peter Koeppen, il. Pedro’s Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus, August 3, 1492–February 14, 1493. 1991.
Written as a diary by the ship’s boy, this story presents a personal view of Columbus’ first trip across the Atlantic and of his discovery of America. (80 pages)
Danticat, Edwidge. Anacaona: Golden Flower. 2005.
Beginning in 1490, Anacaona keeps a record of her life as a possible successor to the supreme chief of Xaragua, as wife of the chief of Maguana, and as a warrior battling the first white men to arrive in the West Indies, ravenous for gold. (186 pages)
Dorris, Michael. Morning Girl. 1992.
Mercator's World Map of 1569
Mercator's World Map of 1569 projected the curve of the globe, which was missing on earlier maps.
Morning Girl, who loves the day, and her younger brother, Star Boy, who loves the night, take turns describing their life on an island in the West Indies, around 1492, just before the beginning of the European Age of Discovery. (74 pages)
Duble, Kathleen Benner. Quest. 2008.
When 17-year-old John Hudson sets sail aboard the Discovery with his father, Henry Hudson, he is eager to explore the open seas and the New World. He does regret leaving behind his girlfriend, Isabella Digges, a nobleman’s daughter (and an undercover spy for the king), and John, his younger brother. (240 pages)
Garfield, Henry. The Lost Voyage of John Cabot: A Novel. 2004.
Sebastian Cabot, John Cabot’s middle son, makes his own voyages looking for the Northwest Passage to Asia and for some trace of his father and brothers. (309 pages)
Hesse, Karen. Stowaway. 2000.
A fictionalized journal relates the experiences of a young stowaway, from 1768-1771, aboard the ship Endeavor, which sailed around the world under Captain James Cook. (319 pages)
Lasky, Kathryn. A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple. (Dear America series) 1996.
Twelve-year-old Mem writes in her diary about her family’s voyage aboard the Mayflower, in 1620, and their first year in the New World. (173 pages)
Lawlor, Laurie. Dead Reckoning: A Pirate Voyage with Captain Drake. 2005.
In 1577, Emmet, a 15-year-old orphan, learns hard lessons of survival, when he sails from England, as a servant aboard the Golden Hind—the ship of his cousin, the explorer and pirate, Francis Drake, on its three-year circumnavigation of the world. (254 pages)
Lawlor, Laurie. Voyage to a Free Land, 1630. 1999.
Abigail Garrett and her younger sister, Hannah, cross the Atlantic aboard the ship Arbella, to the new world in search of freedom from religious persecution. (178 pages)
Moodie, Craig. The Sea Singer. 2005.
After his father and brothers fail to return home from a voyage to the west, Finn, a 12-year-old Viking, stows away on Leif Ericsson’s ship and sails to North America to search for them. (165 pages)
Torrey, Michele. To the Edge of the World. 2003.
In 1519, after the death of his parents, 14-year-old Mateo Macias becomes cabin boy to Ferdinand Magellan on a dangerous journey in search of a route to the fabled Spice Islands. (233 pages)

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Databases

The following databases are available in the Library and on the Web for Skokie Public Library cardholders. Point your Web browser to databases.skokielibrary.info to connect with these and other online research tools for students.

Resources available from home will require authentication as a Skokie Public Library cardholder. Please review carefully our acceptable use policy for these resources.

 
Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardBritannica for Kids
Type in your topic in the Search box.
    OR
To find a list of topics on the Age of Exploration:
  • Select Social Studies from the Browse menu to the right of the Search box.
  • Click on the View Subcategories link next to World Social Studies
  • Click on the View Subcategories link next to Global Exploration (1450-1770)
Britannica Global Reference Center resources are available in Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish languages.
 
Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardSearchasaurus
Articles from magazines, newspapers, and encyclopedias. Includes American Heritage Children’s Dictionary, Funk & Wagnall’s New World Encyclopedia, and Image Collection. (Kindergarten through 8th grade)
  • Search by keyword or click on History from the Browse area
  • Next, click Explorers then Biographies or Books and Encyclopedias
Available everywhere with your Skokie Public Library cardWorld Book Online Info Finder
Type your topic in the Search box to find information from this online encyclopedia.

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Websites

Web resource1492: An Ongoing Voyage
www.ibiblio.org/expo/1492.exhibit/Intro.html
Web-based version of an exhibit at the Library of Congress, in Washington D.C., with information on the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Americas at the time of Columbus. Includes description of Columbus.
Web resource
Conquistadors: Online Learning Adventure
www.pbs.org/conquistadors
Information about the Conquistadors in the New World and the legacy of their conflict with the Native Americans. Includes Cortés and the Aztecs, Pizarro and the Incas, Orellana and the Amazons, and timelines of events and acquired diseases.
(Middle and high school students)
Web resource
Enchanted Learning: Zoom Explorers
www.enchantedlearning.com/explorers
Brief biographies of the explorers in alphabetical order, location, or time period. Includes glossary of exploration terms.
Web resource
Explorers (Mountain City Elementary School; Mountain City, Tennessee)
www.mce.k12tn.net/explorers/explorers.htm
Chart of European explorers, chronology, nationality, and achievement. Includes maps and illustrations. Click on individual explorer or Spanish, English, or French explorers.
Web resource
The Explorers (Canadian Museum of Civilization; Gatineau, Quebec)
www.civilization.ca/vmnf/explor/explor_e.html
Biographies of French explorers from Cartier, 1534-1536, to La Verendrye, 1732-1739. Includes maps with the explorers’ routes.
Web resource
Exploring the Early Americas (Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress; Washington, DC)
www.loc.gov/exhibits
Explorers exhibition with three themes: Pre-Contact America, Explorations and Encounters, and aftermath of the encounters. Click on Exploring the Early Americas and then Explorations and Encounters for Columbus and the Taino, Cortés and the Aztecs, Pizarro and the Incas, Interpreting the Conquest, Conquest of Mexico Paintings, and Conflict and Accommodations.
Web resource
Florida History Internet Center
www.floridahistory.org
Detailed information on Florida’s history and facts about Ponce de León and other explorers with ties to Florida. Includes Florida Timeline, and photographs of paintings of explorers. Type explorers in search box and click on Photographs (explorers).
Web resource
Ian Chadwick: The Life and Voyages of Henry Hudson English Explorer and Navigator
www.ianchadwick.com/hudson
Comprehensive study of Henry Hudson, including maps of his voyages. Includes a short story based on historical events.
Web resource
Multnomah County Library: Explorers
www.multcolib.org/homework/explorhc.html
Overviews of “European Exploration from Earliest Times to 1497” and “European Voyages of Exploration: Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries.” Includes List of Explorers A to Z.

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Museum Websites

Web resource
The Mariners’ Museum: Age of Exploration (The Mariner’s Museum; Newport News, Virginia)
www.mariner.org//educationalad/ageofex
Online curriculum guide for teachers and students addressing maritime discovery from ancient times to Captain Cook’s 1768 voyage to the South Pacific. Includes biographies, timeline, vocabulary, and activities [making a compass, astrolabe, quadrant, and more]. (Grades 3 through high school)
Web resource
The National Maritime Museum (London, England)
www.nmm.ac.uk
Online collection of 10,000 objects about the sea, ships, astronomy, and time. Includes astronomical and navigational instruments by time period, charts and maps, and photographs of oil paintings. Use search box or browse.

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Glossary

Astrolabe (noun) is an instrument that was used to determine the altitude of objects (like the sun) in the sky. It was later replaced by the sextant.
The astrolabe dates back to ancient Greece, when it was used by astronomers to help tell time, and was first used by mariners in the late 15th century. It was used to measure the altitude of the sun and stars to determine latitude.
Caravel (noun) is a ship, which sailed in the late 15th century. It was a broad-beamed vessel of 50 or 60 tons (some as large as 160 tons), 75 feet long, with two or three pole masts, and lateen-rigged (triangular-shaped) sails.
Two of the three ships in which Christopher Columbus made his historic voyage, in 1492, were caravels, the Nina and Pinta.
Circumnavigation (noun); circumnavigate (verb) means to go completely around (as the Earth) especially by water. (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 10th edition)
In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer working for Spain, was first to circumnavigate the Earth.
Conquistadors or Conquistadores (plural nouns) were leaders in the Spanish conquest of America, especially of Mexico or Peru, in the 16th century.
Cortés, also spelled Cortez, was a Spanish conquistador who overthrew the Aztec empire (1519-21) and won Mexico for the crown of Spain.
Davis's Quadrant
Davis's Quadrant, or "backstaff," was used by navigators to measure latitude.
Dead Reckoning (noun) is a method of navigation that involves calculating the ship’s position by noting the ship’s speed, the speed and direction of the wind, ocean currents, and compass directions.
Christopher Columbus employed dead reckoning on his voyages to the New World.
Landfall (noun) means the approach to, sighting of, or reaching land.
The first European to enter the Caribbean Sea was Christopher Columbus, who made landfall in the Bahamas, in 1492, convinced he had discovered a new route to Asia.
Magnetic Compass (noun) is a navigational tool which contains a magnetic needle that can turn freely and always points to the north pole of the Earth’s magnetic field, thus allowing the other directions to be determined as well. (Gale Virtual Reference Library)
The phenomenon of magnetism was known to the ancient Greeks, but the magnetic compass was invented by the Chinese.
Navigation (noun); navigate (verb); navigator (noun) is the science of plotting or directing or guiding the course of a vessel using charts, maps, compasses, or the stars. (World Book Online)
John Cabot was an Italian navigator who sailed the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America, in 1497.
New World (noun) is another name for the Americas (or the Western Hemisphere).
Beginning early in the 1600s three other nations—France, the Netherlands, and England—showed interest in the New World.
Quadrant (noun) is an instrument used for measuring altitudes.
Columbus had a device called a quadrant to help him work out his north-south position from the stars. Quadrants were unreliable because they were hard to hold steady enough on a moving ship.
Voyage (noun and verb) is a journey especially by water from one place or country to another.
The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, made three sea voyages to India between 1497 and 1524. His voyages opened a sea route from Western Europe to the East and made Portugal a world power.

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Illustration Sources and Credits

Exploration and discovery artifacts adapted by Susan Teller from various sources.

 
Astrolabe. Used by mariners to measure the angle of planets above the horizon to establish a ship’s latitude.
Reformation, Exploration, and Empire. Volume 6. Danbury, CT: Grolier. 2005.
Buffalo. “The buffalo was just one of the many North American wonders that Coronado and his men were probably the first Europeans to see.”
Original drawing by Susan Teller, inspired by photo featured in Otfinoski, Steven. Francisco Coronado: In Search of the Seven Cities of Gold. New York: Benchmark Books. 2003.
Compass. From about 1500. Pieces of magnetic iron had been used since the 1000s to guide ships within sight of land.
The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Discovery and Exploration. Volume 3. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corp. 1990.
Cross-staff. In the early 16th century, was used mostly to find the latitude by measuring the altitude of the Pole Star above the horizon. This proved useless in cloudy weather.
Cline, Duane A. “Navigation: The Cross Staff.” The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony: 1620. 7 Oct. 1999. Rootsweb. 21 Aug. 2008. www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mosmd/crstaff.htm
Davis’s Quadrant. Also called a backstaff, was a “basically simple device,” which measured latitude. “A navigator achieved best results in calm seas, when the deck would be steady.”
The Grolier Student Library of Explorers and Exploration: The Golden Age of Exploration. Volume 2. Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational. 1998.
Hammock. Stretches between two trees, as shown in a history of the West Indies published in Spain, in 1535. Columbus discovered hammocks, along with other New World inventions, such as the canoe on his first voyage, and European sailors slowly adopted them to make sleeping on board ship more comfortable.
Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E. An Age of Voyages, 1350-1600. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 2005.
Longboat. “Ships’ crews used small, light longboats to travel across shallow waters.”
Landau, Elaine. Ferdinand Magellan. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications. 2005.
Mercator’s World Map of 1569. Projected the curve of the globe, which was missing on earlier maps.
Drawing by Susan Teller, inspired by work featured in The Grolier Student Library of Explorers and Exploration: The Golden Age of Exploration. Volume 2. Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational. 1998.
The Santa Maria. Columbus’s flagship on the first voyage. Although she was slower than the nimble Nina and Pinta that escorted her, her five sails could adapt to subtle shifts in wind conditions.
The Grolier Student Library of Explorers and Exploration: The Golden Age of Exploration. Volume 2. Danbury, CT: Grolier Educational. 1998.

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