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Columbus Day, Grades K-5

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

Found in: Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, Grades PreK-2, Grades 3-5

Lesson Plans

Christopher Columbus: The Man, the Myth, the Legend
( PDF, 380 KB, 14 pgs.) In this seven lesson unit, students in kindergarten explore Christopher Columbus, his voyage to the New World, and the location of the continents and oceans.

The Indians’ Discovery of Columbus
Students in grade 3 depart from the traditional Euro-centric view and consider the New World explorations and conquests from the perspective of Native Americans.

What Was Columbus Thinking?
Students in grades 3-5 read excerpts from Columbus's letters and journals, as well as recent considerations of his achievements and then reflect on the consequences, intended and unintended, of his endeavor.

Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus
Students in grades 3-5 use the Internet to gather information about Christopher Columbus and use their notes to prepare a timeline and summary report.


Background Resources

Tools of Navigation
(Grades 5-12) Learn about the tools used by early navigators.

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 (37:47)
The story of the Americas after Columbus.
Christopher Columbus (18:22)
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: October 2, 2019



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