Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, a busy center of trade on the northwest coast of Italy.  He was enthralled by the tales of Marco Polo's travel to China.  His studies convinced him the world was round, and he could reach the East by sailing west.  He took his idea to King John of Portugal.  However, at this same time a man named Bartolomeu Dias returned with news of the sea route around Africa to India.  King John would not support Columbus's plan to reach the East by sailing west.

  Columbus decided to go the court of Spain.  After many appeals he persuaded King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to support his expedition.  Ferdinand and Isabella shared a mixture of economic and religious motives.  They wanted the great cargoes of gold and other goods Columbus promised them he would bring back.  Columbus also wanted to spread Christianity wherever he went.

  Columbus made four voyages.  He began his first voyage in 1492 with three ships-two small ones, the Nina and the Pinta, and the larger ship, the Santa Maria.  For two months the ships sailed west.  Columbus promised his crew they would turn back if they did not see land in three days.  On the third day, October 12, 1492, Columbus landed at an island, which he called San Salvador.  He was convinced he was nearing India or China.  

  The islands where Columbus first landed are today called the West Indies.  They stretch over 2,500 miles between North and South America.


Answer the questions below


1. Christopher Columbus was born in

Madrid, Spain.

Genoa, Italy.

the West Indies.


2. Columbus was convinced the world was .


3. King John of was the first person approached by Columbus.


4. Columbus then approached the court of .


5. Columbus planned to reach the East 

by sailing east.

by sailing west.

by following the same plan as Dias.


6. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella shared economic and motives.

7. On October 12, 1492 Columbus landed on an island.  He was convinced he was nearing
India or China.

North America.

San Salvador.

8. Columbus had three ships on his voyage -
the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

the Nina, the Pina, and the Santa Lucia.

the Nina, the Santa Maria, and the Santa Louisa.

9. Dias had news of a sea route around Africa to .
10. The islands where Columbus first landed are located between North and South  .



Elementary & Middle School Lessons & Self-Correcting Tests for Children in all Subject Areas.
If you have found an error or would like to make comments on this lesson, please email us at:

Copyright 1999-2022 by Educational Designers, LLC.  All rights reserved.
Lessons & Tests in Math, Reading, Spelling, Science, Language, and Social Studies.

"This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse."