Submitted by: Ashley Allain

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-8, students use BrainPOP resources and Google Earth to relive Christopher Columbus’ maiden voyage. Students will complete a map outlining the route of Columbus’ voyage and create an interactive report using Scratch to highlight the voyage’s main events.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Re-live Christopher Columbus' maiden voyage using Google Earth
  2. Complete a map outlining the route of Columbus' maiden voyage
  3. Complete an interactive report using Scratch to highlight the main events of Columbus' maiden voyage



voyage, colonize, venture, resist, native, ambitious


Prior to beginning, load Google Earth, Scratch and Skitch onto your computer(s). This is a paperless project!

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Review the Vocabulary from the movie with students. You may also wish to use the Language tab of the Activity page to help students extend their prior knowledge.
  2. View the Christopher Columbus movie.
  3. Relive Columbus' maiden voyage using the Google Earth virtual field trip. (This is a Google Earth file I created, and it can be opened with the Google Earth program.)
  4. Use the BrainPOP quiz as a means to review and/or assess.
  5. Click on the BrainPOP map activity. Open Skitch and capture an image of the map.
  6. Open Scratch and import the image.
  7. You can download our project and simply delete the text if you would like to have a template to follow. The more adventurous can create their own format for an interactive report. Here's a link to my website (HyperHomeschool) that includes the Scratch program, and here's a link to more info about our Columbus research project.
  • Karen Hoyt

    This looks like a great lesson but I can’t access the Hyper-home school site. I’d like to see the Google Earth Field trip and see more about the project. Is there another resource?

    • Antonio Perez

      Hi Karen, I just emailed Ashley, who created this lesson plan, to see if there are new URL’s that I can update this page with. When I find out I will write back to you here.

      • Karen Hoyt

        Thanks you !

      • Karen Hoyt

        I didn’t hear back but I did the lesson anyway. We took screen shots of the Brainpop map and used it for the background in SCRATCH. Our sprites were sailing ships and students programmed it to follow Columbus’ journey. The students LOVED it. Here’s a link as an example: