Age of Exploration PDF


Age of Exploration is a hands-on history unit about the European explorers of the 1500s and 1600s. It is written for a mentor to use with ages 6 to 18 years, family-style.


Age of Exploration is the first unit in the Colonial History course. This unit is about the European explorers of the 1400s through the 1600s who sailed into the unknown to discover routes to the spice trade of the far east only to fine entirely new continents. It includes explorers such as Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus, Pedro Cabral, and Ferdinand Magellan.

This book is for adult mentors to use as a resource when planning lessons, not a textbook for students.

This unit has sections on:

  • Early Explorers
  • Exploring the Americas
  • Mapping the World
  • Exploring the North

Layers of Learning is activity-based and this unit guide includes many hands-on ways to learn about the Age of Exploration. Here are a few things you will find to do inside this unit:

  • Write and color a mini book about Prince Henry the Navigator to put in your Book of Years
  • Color and cut out a paper ship then write about Vasco da Gama on the sails and hull
  • Make a paper bag parrot puppet while learning about Amerigo Vespucci
  • Play a card game called “The Fate of Cabot”
  • Paint a foam globe then track Magellan’s route in glitter
  • Make an egg carton treasure chest while learning about Sir Francis Drake
  • Free hand paint a map of Henry Hudson’s explorations with homemade puffy paint
  • And much more!

Layers of Learning History units include Library Lists of books on the topic, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess your student’s progress and mastery. Learn more about how Layers of Learning works.

See Inside

This is a view of a two page spread from Age of Exploration:

This unit, like all of Layers of Learning is pick-and-choose so the mentor can decide which Explorations to choose from among many options.


This unit was written to be used for a month but contains plenty of content for many more weeks of learning if you choose. This is a pick-and-choose curriculum, meant to be cycled back to in the future when your child is older. As such, it intentionally includes far more material than you can possibly cover in a month.

Age of Exploration is also part of the overall Colonial History course, the third Year of the four year Layers of Learning History cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you through the history of the world from ancient times through the 21st century. However, each unit stands alone and can be used independently of any other unit.

Printable Pack

This unit comes with a downloadable Printable Pack that includes all the student worksheets. The printables can be copied as many times as needed for your family or class.

You can download the Printable Pack from your receipt or from your account at Layers of Learning. This printable pack includes 29 pages.

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Colonial History Resources page.


PDF Download





Cycle Year

Year Three

Product Type

Single Units




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