The European Exploration and Discovery TimeMap contains a sequence of interactive maps and animations showing the early European voyages of discovery.
It starts with the Portuguese voyages down the coast of Africa in the 15th century, and ends with Magellan's circumnavigation of the world in 1519-22. The aim is to provide the historical context to the Age of Discovery. The main thrust of the module is that Christopher Columbus didn’t just sail out into the Atlantic one fine day and change the world.
The TimeMap of European Exploration and Discovery looks at the following questions:
What were the reasons for the Age of Discovery? Why were Spain and Portugal the pioneers? Who were the key personalities involved? Which were the key voyages?
What technological and navigational challenges had to be overcome, and what innovations resulted?
What did the voyages actually achieve?
This TimeMap will give students a clear grasp of the chronology and key features of this hugely important historical process, including the ships used, the nature of the voyages and the motives of the explorers; the impact of geography, in particular the various challenges that winds, currents and sheer distance posed; the influence of global connections, apparent particularly in the technological package which made the voyages possible; and cause and consequence, especially in the way the process of exploration and discovery became a self-feeding mechanism. It also encourages students to think about interpretation, for example in the role of key individuals (were they key?) as against more general factors.
The TimeMap of Exploration and Discovery can be used as a great whiteboard resource with the whole class, to give students a clear, highly visual overview of the Age of Discovery. It can also be used by individual students and small groups undertaking enquiry work. Teachers notes and student-based questions enable you and your students to get the most out of this software and the topic it covers.
For teachers who are required to purchase their software from a list of approved suppliers, this TimeMap title is available from the Social Studies Schools Service.