Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Christopher Columbus, and supports the standard of evaluating the impact of European explorers during the Age of Exploration. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • Why do some people choose not to celebrate Columbus Day?
  • What do they celebrate instead? 

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read aloud the description on the Christopher Columbus topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Did You Know?” or “Personalities.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS

Assign Christopher Columbus Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND

Students express what they learned about Christopher Columbus while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a movie documenting Columbus’s arrival from the perspective of a Native person. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying the reasons for Columbus’ voyages.
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts that symbolize the multiple perspectives impacted by Columbus’s voyage.
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine President Lyndon Johnson’s 1966 speech declaring Columbus Day a national holiday. Cite details to answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore

Time Zone X: Christopher Columbus:  Challenge players to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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