The Year of the New World
By Piero Ventura
1492 The Year of the New World Study Guide & Book Notes
Welcome to our page of "book notes" and study guide for Piero Ventura's 1492 The Year of the New World. Below you will find a review, vocabulary, comprehension questions, discussion questions, comments and more to help you get the most out of this book. Please see the topic notes for further activities that go with this book such as map work, science, art and more. This book is used in Topic 9: Columbus. Please see the topic for other related activities and ideas to study this time period and Columbus.
Some thoughts :
Although this book is "optional", I think it gives an excellent view of the world in 1492. Join imaginary characters based on actual records in eighteen different locations around the globe from the Old World to the New.
My son particularly enjoyed the small maps that showed the differences in past and present geography (political boundaries, countries that no longer exist, "new" ones that do, etc.). He also really liked seeing what the towns, people, clothing and other items looked like during this period of time in the many different featured lands. The illustrations are quite engaging.
Although many terms and ideas will be above a 3rd grader's "level", I think the effort to explain on the fly is worth the better "picture" of this time period s/he will walk away with. I know my son probably won't retain much about the Hapsburgs, the Hanseatic League or the particulars of the Ottoman Empire but he will be introduced to these things and more that will come up later in his studies in deeper detail.
I don't expect most vocabulary terms to be retained, but it's all about exposure! I'm always surprised by what my son does remember - and sometimes what he forgets, LOL! The other day he talked about how a certain Greek was a stoic. This term was used two years ago (1st grade) and in "passing". I was very surprised he recalled that word. Anyway, you are building up familiarity, not absolute retention - so don't stress if your child seems to immediately "forget" a term. *Activity suggestion: You can print out, cut and paste pictures of "visual" words into a notebook.
If you don't want to read Piero Ventura's 1942, I recommend at least borrowing it from your local library to browse over the illustrations and maps with your child.
*Warning -There is some "mild" cartoon tribal nudity depicted for those of you who are sensitive to that. The people are drawn very small though and it shouldn't be too big of a deal, if it's even noticed. We discuss how the natives did not share our concept of modesty and how their culture (s) differ from ours - if and when it comes up.
p.9 The Old World
merchandise - things for sale
alliances -"who will be on their side"
Geography: Moscow, Baltic Sea
*Note: For the geography items I suggest that you look at the little maps scattered throughout
the book and also locate the noted places on a globe. I find that repeated use
of a globe is more effective than a "flat" image on a map for long-term
retention (at least for my children).
Why do you think it took so long for news to spread? How do we get news today? How did they get news in 1492?
soaring spires -point them out in the picture
mint their own currency
stepped gables (see the picture on page 11)
Rathaus in Lubeck
The area in the Holy Roman Empire (which became Germany) was sort of like a country with a bunch of "little countries" or independent towns in it. Imagine if our country was like this. The town you live in would be able to declare war on other towns or countries all by itself. It could make it's own type of money that would be different from the money in other towns. If you wanted to go to Burger King in another town, they might not take your town's money. What sort of problems do you think could happen from a "country" like this?
Why did they use salt to preserve herring and other meats? (Germs don't grow very well in salt and they didn't have refrigerators, etc. to keep meat and fish fresh).
Geography: Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark (peninsula), London
wares - another name for merchandise!
political maneuvers of rulers
commissions from rich, local patrons
Hans Memling - take a look at some of his paintings
The Shrine of St. Ursula
Geography: North Sea
What countries exist today that didn't in 1492? Compare the maps on pages 16-17 to find out.
civil wars between factions for succession (wars between people of one land / country to see who will be the ruler or king)
wants to relate (tell) these things to his friend
England, London Thames River, Norway
tells William the latest gossip ( page 21). What is gossip? Is it O.K. to gossip?
What possible harm can come from gossip?
Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,Therefore do not associate with a gossip.
1 Timothy 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.
p.22- 25 France
penetrating (March air)
modest (family of modest means)
meager (a meal that was meager and tasteless)
flying buttress - Activity suggestion: If you have Legos, you might build an example of a flying buttress. If your child builds it, he won't forget it!
exile (prince in exile)
Paris, France, Seine River, Loire River
You may want to read a little about humanism and explain it in basic terms to your child, as it's mentioned on the bottom of page. 25.
Galatians 5:26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
p.26 - 29 The Ottoman Empire
Turkey, Cyprus, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea
Concerning the Janissaries: Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Why do you think it made a difference that the Turks captured YOUNG boys instead of men? Why is it important to learn certain things when you are young? What would possibly happen in your life if you did not learn certain lessons? *Mom, think of some examples that your child might be struggling with whether they are moral or academic.
p.30 - 33 Genoa
Italy, Genoa, Sicily, Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia, Corsica
35 - 37 Portugal
equator (point it out on a globe, if you have one or demonstrate on a ball or orange)
Portugal, Atlantic Ocean, Africa, Azores, Lisbon (Portugal)
p.38 - 41 Spain
smallpox (If you have been using our curriculum, remind your child about Omakayas from the Birchbark House.)
Spain, Strait of Gibraltar, Balearic Islands, Mediterranean Sea, Madrid
Why might the "Marranos" not be sincere? What might make a person in that position "lie" about a conversion? Do you think God would ever want people to be "forced" into believing in Him? What evidence do you have to support your position? How should we treat "non believers"?
p.42 - 45 Christopher Columbus and His Dream
Genoa, Spain, Portugal, Lisbon, England, Iceland, Cape Verde Islands, Niger River, Japan, China
p. 46 - 47 The Geographic Theories
conceived (of a system)
p.48 - 52 The Ships and the Voyage, The Return to Spain
prows (of ships)
Cuba (and the other nearby islands)
p. 53 The New World
Asia, North / South / Central America, Siberia
Depending on your beliefs, you might want to discuss the "timeline" of 35,000 to 40,000 years ago.
How did the "Indians" get their name?
p. 54 - 57 The Tainos
frequented (by noisy seabirds)
narrate (If you do narrations, your child should be familiar with this term!)
*For more information on narration and how it could benefit your child you might want to click on this article.
Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Caribbean Sea, Bahamas
p. 58 - 61 The Aztecs
Gulf of Mexico, Mexico City, Acapulco, Pacific Ocean
p.62 - 65 The Maya
Geography: Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea
the statement on p. 65 "The ancient wisdom of these people will be forgotten
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
p.66 - 69 The Inca
Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Pacific Ocean
70 - 80 The Buffalo Hunters, The Villages Under a Rock Roof, The Lake and
Geography: Look at the maps on the pages to see where the major tribes were located.
p.82 - 84 The Admiral's Destiny
p.85 - 91 (Various Section Titles)
I suggest skipping the boxes with important dates in European history and Italian Renaissance art.
What do you think the very last sentence means? "Our only sin was this: we had what the white man wanted."
Do you think there is another side to the story?
What was your favorite part of this book? Which people would you want to live with if you lived in 1492?