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Columbus Day

Compiled By: shazam

Here are some Columbus Day activities.

Columbus Day
Posted by: mab

I teach second grade and every year we go and read In 1492 by Jean Marzollo to the first grade class next door. Then together with a partner(1st and 2nd) they create one of Columbus' ships. We give them the ship's hull and they use popsicle sticks for the 3 masts and brown paper lunch bags for the sails. They color and decorate! This takes most of the AM! Then we sing a song about Columbus together. It's always a fun way to remeber Columbus and the kdis remember it, too!

Columbus Writing
Posted by: Diverbabe

I made a bulletin board heading shaped like a large cloud that said " Columbus had a dream to sail away to faraway lands. My dream is ...". I had the children write what their dream was for when they grew up and to tell why. Their "neat sheet" was cloud shaped and I glittered around the edge of each cloud to spiff it up a bit. Put up in a hallway with a poster of Columbus or a sailing ship, it made for an attractive display.

Columbus Day
Posted by: Rita

There is a wonderful book available from Scholastic called , "Pedro's Journal" It is the story of a young boy who is sent to sea with Christopher Columbus because the boy knows how to read and write. It is a journal of his trip, including several important dates. It is a wonderful book to share with children to help them understand that the journey was in fact historical and that Christopher Columbus was a person worth remembering.

Columbus Trial
Posted by: Katie

In order to get my students hooked into explorers, we do a mock trial. Columbus, his men, King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella, the System of the Republic, and even the Tainos are charged with te slaying of the Taino people. The kids have to defend themselves.

It's from a book called Rethinking Columbus.

It gets the kids active, thinking, and they look at things from various perspectives.


Columbus Day
Posted by: deborah partridge

The nice thing about doing Columbus is that it lends itself so nicely to integrate with other areas. For instance, doing a sink or float activity in relation to his ships/brainstorming what the traveling conditions were like (food, water,light, restrooms, etc.)to imagine why the journeys were so incredible/highlighting rhyming words from Columbus Day poems, etc. Scholastic has some grade approriate non-fiction that works good.

Columbus Day Internet Sites
Posted by: Marilyn

When I taught second grade, I used a timeline about the life of Columbus. Each day we would learn a different fact about his life. I would then ask the class questions about the fact and have the class answer the questions out loud together. (I discovered this was the only way I could get them to retain the information.) We would also review the facts we had learned on previous days in the same manner.

Christohper columbus
Posted by: Betsy windham

Great visual and "set" - Fill a "sea chest" (decorated box, etc.) with items Columbus would have taken on his voyage..( compass, oranges, water, Bible, maps,etc.)
To promote discussion, contrast & comparison, etc. place items not appropriate for the "times" (flashlight,radio, mapquest!)
To go a step further, wear a "prop" to get the children interested in WHO you are and what's in your "sea chest"! The kids loved this acitivity!

Columbus bb
Posted by: Teri Hanson

I know it's too late for this year, but here's one for next. I have makde drawings of the three shps, and attach (yearly) titles of good books appropriate to my students to the masts. Then, I have the caption--In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. The trip wouldn't have seemed so long, if he'd taken a good book along.

Columbus Song
Posted by: Rona

(Sung or read to the tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Sail, sail, sail, 3 ships
Slowly through the sea,
Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria,
Count them 1-2-3-

Land, land, land, they saw
After many days
Hurray, hurray for Columbus
The man who found the way!

Columbus/ Indigenous Peoples' Day
Posted by: Kathy

Even first graders can have a valid discussion about who actually "discovered" America. There's a picture book called Encounter, by Jane Yolen, which tells the story of Columbus's landing from a young native boy's point of view. Probably a bit heavy for first graders, though. Maybe there's a similar book on an appropriate level. Then read a traditional version of the story. (I think it's important to present both sides of a story). Have the kids talk about it and maybe paint a mural of the two cultures meeting.

How about a time machine?
Posted by: Hermie

I used a "time machine" to help my kids in history. I created a time machine by covering my classroom door with bulletin board paper and various pieces of interesting hardware that I purchased at my local hardware store. (These I hot-glued to the door.) We were to keep the time machine a secret from other classes (yeah, right!) because it was very dangerous! I was REALLY shocked when my fourth graders thought it was going to be real.

I created an elaborate story about making the time machine. I explained to the kids that we would be going back in time to investigate. They were reporters -- but couldn't disturb anything in history (touch, talk, photograph) or it would change the future! We had a secret word that activated the time machine. We all started out in the hall, with notepads and pencils in hand. They had to close their eyes. When they entered the room the time machine would spin them around, then they were to find a place to hide to watch the action. (My one-person plays...Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, etc.) We also had a code word to let them know when to sneak back to present day.

I then asked the kids what they saw, about their notes, etc. I explained that when the last student went through the door, it suddenly closed. I struggled to get in, but it refused to admit any more. I even had the custodian claim to see me beating on the door and trying to get through.

They were disappointed the first time, since they truly believed we would be traveling back in time. BUT, after the first trip, they really got into it and used their imaginations. (For example, one child got seasick while we were on the Mayflower, while another tried to catch a classmate who was falling overboard!)

The kids took great notes and then worked on a history newspaper. Two years later, those kids still remember facts learned during the time traveling.

I hope this helps.

Columbus Day
Posted by: Mrs. Q

Here's a cute art project. Trace your hand on brown paper. Glue onto blue paper, the water. Cut 3 squares for sails and glue them onto the 3 middle fingers. Draw a red cross in the middle of the ship. Draw waves with blue crayon. The kids love it and it's good for learning to work with a partner while you trace each other's hands.

Columbus Day
Posted by: lklingenberg

We color a picture of the ocean and sky. Then cut a line through the middle of the paper leavine some uncut at each side. Then make a ship and glue it to a tongue depressor stick and put it through the slit. It makes a little scene that the kids can move about. They love it.

Posted by: Rebecca

I have a cool time line that the kids use. We put it together as a class, with children holding the pieces to the time line in order. Then I write different events from the time line on paper, put them in a basket, and they draw out an event. Then they get a big piece of white paper and draw that event on their paper(adding a sentence about the event). I then have them get up with their paper and put themselves in order. When we are satisfied that we have them in order, we number the back and put it together as a class book. After I read a couple of picture books on Columbus, I give them a piece of my "pretty paper". This is fancy computer paper that looks like Old World. They take on the role of someone on one of the ships and write to someone back home to tell them how their voyage is going. They really enjoy this!

Hope is helps.

Posted by: Candy

We just got done a unit on explorers. I assisgned each of the student a North American explorer. Then we brainstormed questions you would ask if you were interviewing someone. Each student had to come up with ten questions. The students researched their explorer and wrote responses to their questions in the first person. One student was chosen to be a talk show host. We chose Christopher Columbus. The students brought their questions and answers to the interview desk and were interviewed by the talk show host. Students at their seats were given a grid with five major categories that they had to take notes on for each interviewee. The categories were: Where and when were you born? Where did you explore? What were you looking for? Interesting Facts. Where and when did you die? Students filled in as much information as they could ascertain from the interview. Some students chose to use accents and if we had more time I would have had them dress up. They had fun.