Ferdinand Magellan

Week 11: Ferdinand Magellan


Read K – 3: Land Ho! By Nancy Winslow Parker (pages 14 & 15 only) & watch this youtube video about Ferdinand Magellan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijSk7uv4nbI

4 – 6:  Magellan’s World by Stuart Waldman

7 – 8:  Ferdinand Magellan by Betty Burnett


  •  Ferdinand Magellan was the first man to do what? (sail around the world)
  • Which country did he sail for? (Spain)
  • Why was the voyage so difficult? (long, ran out of food)
  • How many ships did he start with? (5)
  • Did Magellan survive the trip? (no)
  • How many ships made it back to Spain after sailing around the world? (1)

Questions for Grades 4 and Up:

  • Where was Magellan from? (Portugal)
  • Why didn’t he sail for the King of Portugal? (King Manuel didn’t like him)
  • Describe some of the problems Magellan had with his captains? (Didn’t trust Magellan because he was Portuguese; Cartagena wanted to be in charge and lead a rebellion against him with other captains)
  • What did Magellan do to these men? (one captain sentenced to death; left Cartagena on an island to die)
  • Where was the “strait” through the “New World” located? (tip of South America)
  • Why did Magellan name the new ocean the “Pacific”? (Pacific means peaceful)
  • What did the sailors eat when they ran out of food? (sawdust & leather)
  • What was scurvy? (disease caused by lack of vitamin C)
  • What important group of islands in the Pacific did he find? (Philippines)
  • What religion did Magellan preach to the Cebuans? (Christianity)
  • What terrible mistake did Magellan make? (should have left while things were good, but instead decided to do battle with the nearby island of Mactan; many sailors were killed, including Magellan)
  • How was Magellan killed? (with poisoned arrow)

Questions for grades 7 & up:

  • Why did countries want to find an easy route to the East? (wanted Spices)
  • Who kept a diary of Magellan’s voyage? (Pigafetta)
  • Did all of Magellan’s ships sail to the Pacific Ocean? (no; one turned around and went back to Spain)
  • Why didn’t Magellan get scurvy? (He ate quince jelly which had vitamin C in it.)
  • How many men made it back to Spain? (18)
  • How long did the journey take? (almost 3 years)


Activities: All Ages:  Make a map of Magellan’s journey using this blank map: http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/pdf/world_country.pdf

and this map: http://www.ducksters.com/biography/explorers/magellan_route_around_the_world.jpg

or this map for help: http://mrnussbaum.com/explorers/routemaps/

K – 6: Create a voyage in a bottle craft similar to this idea from Crayola.com: http://www.crayola.com/lesson-plans/voyages-in-a-bottle-lesson-plan/

Except, create 5 ships instead of 3 and label the bottle Ferdinand Magellan.   The ship hulls can be made with playdough.  The ship masts can be made with toothpicks.  The ships were named the Trinidad, the Santiago, the Victoria, the Concepcion, and the San Antonio.   Be sure to include a Spanish Flag on each ship to show that Magellan sailed for Spain.  http://www.enchantedlearning.com/europe/spain/flag/

Draw a large red arrow on mast of the San Antonio to show that it secretly sailed back to Spain.  Color the mast of the Santiago black to show that it sunk near South America.  Put a star on the mast of the Victoria, which is the only ship that made it back to Spain after sailing around the world.

7 – 8: Choose one of the following essay prompts:

  • In what ways was Ferdinand Magellan a good leader and captain? In what ways was Magellan a poor one?
  • King Manuel did not think highly of Magellan. Was he correct in his views?  Why or why not?
  • Pretend you are going on a voyage around the world with the same crew and ships Magellan had. What would you have done differently regarding the following problems he encountered: 1) mutiny  2) scurvy  3) starvation  4) battle with Cebuans

Copyright November 13th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

Leave a comment

Filed under Charlotte Mason, Exploration, Reformation, Renaissance

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s