Christopher Columbus Activities

Monday was Columbus Day in America. We are working on learning about exploration in our Reading Streets literature books. So we will be doing some Columbus Day activities, art and writing to honor this great explorer.


   Books on Christopher Columbus to use as read alouds. I think we read 4 books in all.

From Europe to the Americas
Bananas Barley Cabbages Carnations
Chickens Coffee Cows Crabgrass
Daffodils Daisies Dandelions Horses
Lemons Lettuce Lilacs Olives
Oranges Peaches Pears Pigs
Rice Sheep Sugarcane Tulips
Turnips Wheat

This cool chart was from the Scholastic Website telling what kinds of things the explorers shared between Europe and America from their travels back and forth.

From the Americas to Europe
Avocados Beans (kidney, navy, lima) Bell peppers Black-eyed Susans
Cacao (for chocolate) Chili peppers Corn Cotton
Marigolds Papayas Peanuts Petunias
Pineapples Poinsettias Potatoes Pumpkins
Quinine Rubber Squashes Sunflowers
Sweet potatoes Tobacco Tomatoes Turkeys
Vanilla beans Zinnias

First of all we are using our Scholastic News/Weekly Reader on Columbus. It has a fun interactive website which shows an animated basic story of what happened.The link is HERE at Scholastic.  I don’t think you need a code. Another resource I found was a mini book with pictures and questions afterwards. The link for the printable story and worksheet is HERE at Teachervision.  I would also do a few read alouds. I have about 5 books on Columbus.

Scholastic News had a lot of neat resources even after reading . Another good resource for lots of activities on Columbus is HERE from Palm Beach Schools.

After reading the Scholastic News/Weekly Reader and showing them some Pictures of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand I found online, and pictures of one of the types of boats they used (The Nina, The Pinta and the Santa Maria) we had some good discussions on how hard it would be to have the job of sailor on one of Columbus’ 3 ships. They had to sleep on mats and eat kind of old food.  The kids decide which 5 things they would be able to take with them on the 2 month trip to America. It is hard to narrow it down to just 5 things! And no computers, phones, T.V.s or ipads were invented then!!

A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus (Picture Book Biographies) (Picture Book Biography)
Good read aloud book on Christopher Columbus. 

I will introduce our 7 VOCABULARY words on Columbus for the week. Then we will do an alphabetical order worksheet. The link is Apples 4 the teacher. A wordsearch I’ll put on the back with vocabulary words Find it HERE or a challenging one HERE.  It works great because we are studying alphabetical order this week! WOO HOO!

We then wrote little biography reports on Christopher Columbus and how he sailed to the New World and met the Indians there. Everybody had a different bunch of facts they thought were interesting. All of the kids could take facts from any of the books, Weekly Readers and facts they learned from our read alouds or the video. We went through the writing process, I edited their work, and they rewrote on some cute Columbus paper I found in a Scholastic Book.

Here is a cute 6 minute singing video about the Voyage of Christopher Columbus that includes the King and Queen of Spain and some maps of the route. And Columbus sings a cute song too. Perfect for 1st or 2nd graders. WRITING I’m going to let the students retell the story of Columbus in their own words.  If you wanted to you could do a Columbus Acrostic Poem. A link for words to use for the letters of COLUMBUS is HERE at joglab.

Christopher Columbus reports 

 The watercolor ships of Columbus turned out really pretty. They all looked so different!

 We read lots of literature and listed facts about Columbus on the whiteboard. Then we wrote about him.

 After teacher edit we rewrote our sloppy copies on this cute paper. Christopher Columbus rocks!

Then we did a watercolor art project of some of the ships Columbus sailed on.  

 The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.

Weekly Reader about Columbus and his travels. 
A Columbus Quiz from the Weekly Reader/Scholastic News. 

The art I like to do is a watercolor of the sky and ocean with a Columbus type boat made with brown construction paper and a piece of tissue and a wooden skewer for a sail and mast.. A cute puppet printable is HERE at Scholastic. 

MUSIC AND FINGER PUPPETS I found a freebie at Teachers Pay Teachers for a cute song and poem to sing about Columbus. I would sing and recite the poem and song together and then let the kids glue them on the back of their art (reduce to half size so both will fit on 1 page).
The finished watercolors look really great. At Teachers Pay Teachers pay Teachers Lil’ Country Kindergarten had some cute Columbus Day Finger Puppets.  This would be a great fast finisher activity for older kids too. Who doesn’t like a finger puppet?  Then the whole class can sing the song while doing puppetry. What a fun week we had!

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