Questions

What continents/countries make up the Americas?

When did Ponce de León sail to the Americas with Cristopher Columbus?

Why would the explorers want to find the Fountain of Youth?

Exploring the Americas

At the beginning of the 1500s, people who lived in Europe did not know much about the Americas. (The Americas include North America, South America, and the islands in the Caribbean Sea.)

After Christopher Columbus sailed to the Caribbean Sea in 1492, Europeans knew that there was some land between Europe and Asia. But they pictured this land as being made up of islands. They did not know about the huge continents of North and South America.

All kinds of stories were told about the islands that the explorers from Europe were discovering.

These are pictures of fountains. 

 

One story was about the water from a magic spring or fountain. 

 The story said that the water from this fountain could make old people young again, so it was called the Fountain of Youth.

King Ferdinand of Spain heard the stories about the Fountain of Youth, and in 1513, he sent Juan Ponce de León to look for it.

Ponce de León was a soldier and an explorer. In the 1490s, he had sailed with Christopher Columbus on Columbus's second voyage to the Americas.

Ponce de León never did find the Fountain of Youth, but he did become one of Spain's most important explorers.

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