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Columbus Day, Grades 6-8

Lessons, Activities, and Other Resources Present a Range Of Opinions on Christopher Columbus

Found in: Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, Grades 6-8

Lessons & Activities

Lesson Plans

Celebrate Columbus Day!
Students in grades 3-8 learn about Columbus's Book of Privileges and then create a class or individual "Book of Privileges."

Columbus: Hero or Villain?
Students in grades 6-8 analyze a variety of sources in order to determine for themselves whether or not Columbus should be considered a hero or a villain.

Other Worlds: The Voyage of Columbus
Students in grades 9-12 use the Internet to explore the two worlds that made contact when Columbus stepped ashore.

Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems
Students in grades 9-12 are introduced to concrete poetry and explore the relationship between the structure and meaning of a poem using the poem “Suppose Columbus.”

Additional Lessons

When Worlds Collide: Lesson Plans
Eight lessons for grades 6-12.


Activities for Students and Teachers Mariner’s Museum (Grades 5-12)
Create a compass, astrolabe, quadrant, and nine more activities.
Find Your Longitude (Grades 3-6)

Background Resources

Biographical Information

Contact with Indigenous Peoples

  • 1492: An Ongoing VoyageThe exhibition from the Library of Congress examines the first sustained contacts between American people and European explorers, conquerors and settlers from 1492 to 1600.
  • When Worlds Collide
    Companion website for the PBS program has a timeline, essays, and lessons.



When Worlds Collide: The Untold Story of the Americas after Columbus (1:26:36)
This PBS documentary presents a vivid exploration of the first century after the Old World encountered the New World.
Christopher Columbus (9:54)
This excerpt from 500 Nations, The Discovery and Arrival of Christopher Columbus explores the clash of cultures between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of America.

last updated: September 11, 2014



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