Christopher Columbus is known for "discovering" America in 1492. An Italian explorer, Columbus was commissioned by Spain to find a trade passage to Asia. In 1492 he landed in the Bahamas and claimed the territory for Spain. Columbus was not the first to discover the Americas, but is credited with opening up the North American continent for European colonization.
Born - October 31, 1451
Died - May 20, 1506
From History.com, an exploration of the real life and controversy of Christopher Columbus
The Truth About Columbus
The Oatmeal details the truth about Columbus (and why Bartolome Day might be a more appropriate federal holiday) in this graphic.
Columbus Day Activities
DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Columbus Day Crafts and Activities
Crafts projects for preschool, kindergarten and elementary school children. The crafts use materials found around the house. From EnchantedLearning.com.
Columbus Day Holiday Recommended Reading -
Kids' books that teach about Christopher Columbus.
Chart Columbus' Voyages
Students learn map skills as well as the route of the explorer with this lesson plan from the Learning Network.
Columbus Day from a Native American Perspective
Students learn how Columbus' discoveries effected the Native Americans. Students are asked to write a story about Columbus' first step on American ground from the Native American point of view.
Columbus' letter to the King and Queen of Spain
Transcript of a letter probably dated 1494. The text of this letter details suggestions for colonizing any islands, "both those already discovered and those that may be discovered hereafter."
From Enchanted Learning. Students learn geography and history by mapping Columbus' voyage and building small replicas of his three ships.
Who Discovered America
Excellent resources for a college level study of Columbus. Anyone wishing a serious study of the history of Columbus and North America should start with the questions found here.