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Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who organized the first expedition to circumnavigate the Earth. Magellan never made it entirely around the globe with his fleet of ships, but some of his crewmates did, and their story became a significant part of history.
See the fact file below for more information on Ferdinand Magellan or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Ferdinand Magellan worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães) was born in 1480 in Northern Portugal.
- From the age of 25, Magellan took part in several battles on behalf of Portugal. His participation in the conquest of Malacca led to him being promoted.
- After studying star charts and maps, Magellan put forward a proposal to the King of Spain to restart Christopher Columbus’ plan to build a spice route to the west.
- In 1518, Magellan was chosen by King Charles I of Spain to sail westwards in search of the Maluku Islands, also known as the Spice Islands.
- In return for their expedition to the Spice Islands, the King promised Magellan a percentage of the profits from the trade route.
- Magellan organized a fleet of five ships and sailed through the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to reach his destination. They returned via the Indian Ocean – thus completing a circuit of the entire globe.
- The five ships were named Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepción, Santiago and Victoria.
- Around 270 men took part in Magellan’s expedition to the Spice Islands.
- The journey to the Spice Islands began on September 20th, 1519, in Seville, Spain.
- The expedition was a treacherous one and many crew members lost their lives. By 1521, only 150 crew members and three ships remained.
- When Magellan reached the Philippines, he arrived on the island of Cebu. He planted a Christian cross on the island, which is now known as Magellan’s Cross.
Death and Legacy
- The ruler of nearby island Mactan (Lapu-Lapu) was not Christian, and the Rajah of Cebu convinced Magellan to launch an attack on him. A battle ensued and Magellan lost his life.
- Magellan was killed at the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines in 1521. He was killed by a bamboo spear.
- The rest of the expedition’s crew fled the Philippines in the remaining ships after Magellan had been killed, and arrived at the Spice Islands in November, 1521. They left the islands and headed back to Spain, laden with valuable spices.
- Only one of Magellan’s ships (the Victoria) survived the entire expedition and completed the circumnavigation of the globe. There were only 18 crew members on board out of the original 270.
- Magellan is credited for naming the Pacific Ocean. He called it ‘Mar Pacifico’ meaning ‘still sea’.
- The expedition is also responsible for the invention of the International Date Line: when the expedition returned, the ship’s log was a day behind because of the Earth’s rotation. This was exciting news at the time.
Ferdinand Magellan Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Ferdinand Magellan across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Ferdinand Magellan worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Ferdinand Magellan who was a Portuguese explorer who organized the first expedition to circumnavigate the Earth. Magellan never made it entirely around the globe with his fleet of ships, but some of his crewmates did, and their story became a significant part of history.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Ferdinand Magellan Facts
- Portuguese in Spanish Ships
- Famous Explorers
- The Pacific
- Magellan’s Voyage
- Spanish Three Gs
- Magellan’s Quest
- Age of Exploration
- From What Country?
- It’s Magellan!
- World Treasures
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Link will appear as Ferdinand Magellan Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 11, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.