Explorer’s Journal Assignment due tuesday, december 4th

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Name: Victoria Quintana Date: November 21, 2013 Per: P1

Explorer’s Journal Assignment


Ho Ho Ho!
Avast me hardies! We be settin’ sail to th’ new world. We take to the high seas at high tide. God, Glory, and Gold awaits!

For this assignment you are going to put yourself into the role of a famous explorer.

You will be assigned one explorer from the list below, and will research about his life and travels.

After you have completed your research, you will use the information you have collected to create 3 fictional (but realistic) journal entries from that explorer’s voyage. At the end of the project, you will get in groups with other explorers to share your journal entries.
1.) John Cabot

2.) Francisco Pizarro

3.) Hernan Cortes

4.) Christopher Columbus

5.) Ferdinand Magellan

6.) Vasco De Gama





Research & Notes notes

-Research notes are extensive, complete, and relevant to the assignment.

-Sources are cited in MLA format

-Research notes are adequate and relevant to the assignment

-Sources are cited in MLA format

-Research notes are incomplete or disorganized and sometimes irrelevant information is included

-Some attempt is made to cite sources

Research notes are missing, are unreliable/inaccurate or are not used as a basis for the journal.

-Sources are not cited


Journal entries provide a highly detailed, historically accurate look into the explorer’s life.

-Journal entries provide a well-researched, accurate look into the explorer’s life.

Journal entries provide a somewhat accurate look into the explorer’s life (some details may be inaccurate or unclear)

Journal entries do not correspond to the life of the explorer.


-Writing is very well organized

-All conventions are followed.

-Style and tone are developed.

-Writing is generally well organized

-Conventions are mostly followed

-Style is somewhat developed.

-Writing is somewhat organized

-Conventions are somewhat followed.

-An attempt is made develop style

-Writing is disorganized

-Conventions are generally not followed

-No attempt to develop tone/style

_________________/50 [Age of Exploration Bin]

Research Note Sheet:
Explorer’s Background: (What was his life like in Europe?)

He was born in 1451. It was a time of discoveries and new ideas in Europe. (Time of the renaissance/rebirth) His real name is Cristoforo Colombo, he was born in Italy. We don’t know if he went to school but maybe he had lessons from monks. His family was poor but his family hoped to become rich by trading. He learned to navigate a ship. Then he went to live to Portugal. They say hat his ship was attacked by pirates. He and his brother Bartholomew sold maps. His dream was to find a new route to trade with Asia.

Explorer’s character: (What was he like as a person?)

He was a very organized and responsible man. He was extremely religious and followed all instructions that his religion wanted them to follow. He believed that the end of the world was near. He wanted to explore the world and discover new places, it was his dream and he was willing to do anything to accomplish it.

Details of voyage (Where did he go? What did he find? How successful was he?):

He set sail on August 4, 1492 he had three ships: La Niña, la Pinta, y la Santa Maria. There were about 90 men in each ship. He used a compass to tell him were he needed to go next. He sailed to Cuba and Hispaniola. He explored a new world for the Europeans. Native Americas lived in the Islands. Columbus called them Indians because he thought he landed in ‘the indies’ (Asia) The native Americans were first happy to see new visitors but then it wasn’t nice…Europeans began to treat Native Americans badly (as slaves) He arrived in the Americas, everyone thought he was the first one but really 500 years before the Vikings had arrived there before. He said that the world was round. He had gold because he took it from the Native Americans (they worked for him) and took it back to Portugal. He died in 1506. He was an explorer who brought home gold, new food and new knowledge but they brought misery to most of the Native Americans. They took their land. Many Native Americans were killed in the wars of the Europeans or died because of the diseases that the Europeans brought to them.

Before starting your entries, make sure that you…

  • Write only in first person (I, me, my, we, us, our)

  • Include plausible dates

  • Use accurate biographical information

  • Try to establish style, tone, and voice of the time period

February 25, 1486

My dream is to find a new route to trade with Asia, but I cannot accomplish that without rich people helping me, I don’t have enough money to buy all the equipment myself. When I was born my family didn’t have a lot of money but our goal was to become rich by trading, anyway, it never happened. My dad taught me how to navigate a ship and when I was an expert navigating a ship I wanted to explore the world. I asked rich people for help, they all laughed at me, until King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella gave me money to buy ships, in exchange of giving them spices, gold, new land, and new people to rule. I was so generous for this great opportunity that they gave me, and told them that I would not let them down. This is a time of discoveries and new ideas in Europe; I am willing to do anything to see the world because the end of the world is near. Moving on to the topic of the ships, first of all it is my passion. It interests me to know even more than I already know about them. I learned about the winds and tides, and also to navigate and find my way back home by looking at the stars and sun. Anywho, I’ll write you when my sail has begun.

August 3, 1492

My dream has come true, finally. My plan was to head over to Asia, but I landed on the Americas. I navigated with three ships: La Niña, La Pinta, y la Santa Maria. In every ship there were 90 men helping me discover new land. In my way to find new land, I used a compass to help me see were I was headed to and I used a traverse board to mark the direction they wanted to sail in. The time took longer than I expected, I was nervous because 36 days had passed and no land was found. Men in my ships were starting to get scared and food and water was running out. Until La Pinta saw land, everyone was cheering with excitement, they couldn’t wait to explore new land. When we landed I saw people looking at us as if we were strangers. I call them Indians because I thought I had landed in the ‘Indies’ (Asia) when really, I was in the Americas. At first I treated the Native Americans very well (nicely). I gave them cheap presents and bells. Until it was time for them to give me all the gold and species that they had to bring back to my land. The ‘being nice with them’ stopped, I made them my slaves.

December 3, 1494

Today I make a mark on the world. Explorers followed me and sailors sailed with me bravely to the unknown. I brought back to my land gold, new food, and new knowledge. I made Native Americans suffer to give me what I needed to take home. I made them my slaves. They only worked for me and no one else. I cut their hands and their ears if they disobeyed me, I had to be bad and cruel with them, if not my power was not power at all. I also told them that they would work for me and in exchange I would give them protection. (Well Queen Isabella would give them protection) Ha ha! How dumb are they to believe in everything I say?! I did not make my promise and instead decided to lie to them. When they gave me gold, I still wanted even more gold and I would not get out of their land until I got what I wanted. So when I decided that I had enough gold to return to Portugal, I also brought back home with me several Native Americans to work with the Queen in Portugal as slaves. When my men and me arrived to the Americas we brought with us a disease that made Native Americans feel weak and as the illness/sickness was getting worse and worse they ended up dying. I made other explorations but when I got back from Central America, I came back as a sick man, I think I just have a few days left to live, but for now I am grateful for the opportunity that I had and I know I will be remembered.


"Christopher Columbus Journal." Swarthmore. (1906): n. page. Print. .

Minster, Christopher. "Biography of Christopher Columbus." Latin American History. N.p.. Web. 2 Dec 2013.

"Christopher Columbus." BBC News. N.p.. Web. 2 Dec 2013. .

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