Amerigo Vespucci

WEEK 3: Lesson Plan on Amerigo Vespucci (1507 A.D.)

READ:  Grades K – 3:  Land Ho!:  by Nancy Parker

4 – 6:  The Story of Amerigo Vespucci, Forgotten Voyager  by Ann Alper  (Chps 4 – end)

7 – 8:  The Story of Amerigo Vespucci, Forgotten Voyager  by Ann Alper (the whole book)

These images were obtained from


  • Why did the king of Spain send Vespucci out to explore Columbus’s lands? (He wanted him to find out what lands Columbus had discovered and to make maps of those lands.  He didn’t want to send Columbus because people from his new colonies were complaining about his leadership.)
  • When it came to maps and navigation, how did Amerigo contribute to the world?  (He was able to determine latitude & longitude, and navigate by stars and planets.  He was able to make accurate maps and determine within 50 miles the size of the earth.)
  • What important fact did Amerigo discover about the New World?  (It wasn’t the Indies.)
  • Name some of the problems Vespucci had at sea? (Storms destroyed some of the boats and shipworms were eating his boats.)
  • Why is America named America? ( A German mapmaker made the first accurate map of the New World from Vespucci’s letters.  He thought Amerigo had discovered the lands so he named them after him.)

ACTIVITIES: All ages:  Make a map of Amerigo’s voyages using this blank map from  You may use this site for help.

 K – 2: Using toothpicks, paper, and play dough, create the kind of ship Amerigo might have used to discover America.  (Use pictures of Amerigo Vespucci’s boat on the internet for help: click here.)

3 – 5: Write a paragraph: which explorer do you think was more important?  Amerigo Vespucci or Christopher Columbus?  Why?  (Give 3 reasons.)

6 – 8: Write an essay:  Which explorer was a more important historical figure, Christopher Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci.  Write a 5 paragraph, three proof essay.

Copyright August 20th, 2012 by Gwen Fredette


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Filed under Colonial America, Early American History

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