Overview: This article contains a free printable Age of Exploration Worksheet PDF for Social Studies students and teachers. An answer key has been included with the worksheet. The information from the worksheet has been included in the article text, detailing the accomplishments of the Age of Exploration’s most noteworthy explorers, including Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, and Vasco da Gama.
Information about Leif Ericson and Marco Polo is also included. Though they lived several centuries prior to the Age of Exploration, their own discoveries are notable and worth mentioning.
The Age of Exploration Worksheet
The Age of Exploration, also known as the Age of Discovery, was a period in history when European nations, led largely by Spain and Portugal, explored the world, beginning in the 1400s and lasting through the 1600s. This time period coincided with the Renaissance in Europe. The most important achievements from this time include the discovery of the Americas, a water route to Asia from Europe, and the first journey around the world.
The Age of Discovery Explorers
Leif Ericson – Sailed from Greenland to Canada around the year 1000 A.D. and established the Vinland settlement.
Christopher Columbus – Traveled from Spain to the New World, arriving in the Bahamas in 1492. He led a total of 4 voyages to the New World, from 1492 to 1504.
Marco Polo – Traveled from Venice, Italy all the way across Asia in from 1271 to 1295, and visited Persia, China, and India.
Prince Henry the Navigator – A 15th century Portuguese prince who trained sailors in navigation, and organized over 50 voyages of exploration. He searched for a water route to Asia by traveling around Africa.
Bartholomeu Dias – The first explorer to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, located at the Southern tip of Africa.
Vasco da Gama – Traveled around the Cape of Good Hope and reached India from 1497 to 1499, and succeeded in finding a sea route to Africa.
Amergio Vespucci – Sailed from Portugal down the east coast of South America from 1501-1502.
Ferdinand Magellan – Led the first expedition around the world, traveling west from Portugal, from 1519-1522.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa – Crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513.