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Columbus Day, Grades 9-12

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

Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, Grades 9-12

Lesson Plans

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

The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus
Grades 9-12 undertake a historical review, starting with the existence of the horizon at sea, proceeding to various studies of the Earth's size and shape, and leading to the attempt by Columbus to reach India by sailing westward. This lesson, part of an astronomy course, touches on Newtonian mechanics and spaceflight.

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.

Background Resources

Biographical Information

Contact with Indigenous Peoples

  • 1492: An Ongoing Voyage
    The 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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