Juan Ponce de Leon

Juan Ponce de Leon

Juan Ponce de León (1471 – 1521) was a Spanish explorer that led the first European expedition to Florida in 1513. Popular legend is that Ponce de León was looking for a magical water source called the Fountain of Youth that could restore youth to anyone who drank it. Did he find it? Most historians say Ponce de León was more interested in finding new territory he could govern.

Juan Ponce de Leon Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Find a Grave: Juan Ponce de León4 stars

In 1521, Ponce de León landed on the west coast of Florida with intentions to establish a colony. Instead, he was attacked by Indians and wounded by an arrow in his stomach. He returned to Cuba with a few survivors, where he died a month later. He is buried in Puerto Rico, and you can "visit" his memorial at San Juan's Cathedral on Find a Grave. Visit for the Ponce de León biography, and a chance to snoop around all the other famous graves and memorials listed here.

Kings Park Elementary: Juan Ponce de León3 stars

"Ponce de León was trained as a warrior and public servant. De León sailed on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus and with his family, settled on Hispaniola." Part of a collection of nineteen biographies, this single-page Ponce de León bio is appropriate for both elementary and middle-school students. The other bios (including explorers Christopher Columbus and Francisco Vasquez de Coronado) can be found by following the link at the bottom of the page.

Ponce de León: Florida's First Spanish Explorer5 stars

This one page Ponce de León biography is my pick-of-the-day because if you print it out, the black-and-white illustrations are perfect for coloring. So get out your crayons, and learn about the discovery of Florida, the Calusa Indians, and the mythical Fountain of Youth. For teacher notes, a student worksheet, and a PDF version of the reading passage (with even larger coloring pictures), click on "A Short History of Florida" at either the top or bottom of the page.

Thinkquest: Who Goes There: Ponce de León4 stars

"Juan Ponce de León was born in Tierra de Campos Palencia, Spain. As a boy he was hired to deliver messages in royal court." Who Goes There, created by students at Bartlett Elementary School for the 2000 ThinkQuest competition, is all about European exploration of the new world. My favorite part of the site is the original illustrations, including one of Ponce de León.

World Book: Juan Ponce de León5 stars

"According to a popular fable, Ponce de León came to Florida to find a spring called the Fountain of Youth... But historians believe that even though Ponce de León may have heard stories about a Fountain of Youth, he was actually interested in finding wealth and new lands that he could govern." This World Book entry includes a map of Ponce de León's 1513 expedition to Florida, and links to dozens of additional articles covering the "great age of European exploration."

Juan Ponce de Leon Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Encyclopedia Britannica: Hispanic Heritage: Ponce de León

Fact Monster: Juan Ponce de León

Harcourt School: Juan Ponce de León

Learning Haven: Juan Ponce de León


Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Juan Ponce de Leon." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 21 Mar. 2007. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/juan-ponce-de-leon/ >.


About This Page

By . Originally published March 21, 2007. Last modified March 21, 2007.

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