The day Columbus discovered America – level 3


It is the summer of 1492, and three small ships are preparing for a journey across the ocean in the Spanish port of Palos. There are 100 men on board and they are commanded by Christopher Columbus.

This experienced sailor claims that the Earth is round, and therefore Asia, which is of strategic commercial importance to Europe, can be reached when sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean.

No one on board has any idea that Columbus’s main calculation is wrong and that the journey to Asia is three times longer than Columbus thinks.

It’s October 7 and the expedition has been at sea for 29 days without seeing any land. Yet on that day, crew members also see flocks of birds in the sky. At that moment, Columbus changes the course and follows the birds.

Five days later, on October 12, 1492, the land finally appears on the horizon. Columbus lands in today’s Bahamas. During the exploration of the island, he meets locals and he calls them Indians, as he thinks that he has arrived in Asia.

Difficult words: command (to give orders to a group of people), therefore (as a result of something), sail (to go on a ship which has sails), flock (a group of birds), horizon (as far as you can see)

What motivated Christopher Columbus to continue the journey across the Atlantic Ocean even after nearly a month of sailing without any sight of land?


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