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. Columbus Day is officially the second Monday in October, but many states and localities are opting to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day instead.
Born - October 31, 1451
Died - May 20, 1506
Columbus Day? Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
This article from Harvard's Graduate School of Education tackles some of the issues surrounding Columbus Day and strategies for teaching it in your classroom. The article is accompanied by discussion topics, activity ideas, and other resources.
A checklist of dos and don'ts for teaching Indigenous Peoples' Day and/or Columbus Day from Teaching Channel.
Columbus Day Controversy
Each October, a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus ushers in debate about the man’s character and accomplishments. Most people now know that Columbus didn’t actually discover America, nor did he discover that the earth was not flat. Beyond that, there are 3 main issues with Columbus’ activities in the Americas at the heart of the debate about whether Columbus Day should exist: “the use of violence and slavery, the forced conversion of native peoples to Christianity, and the introduction of a host of new diseases that would have dramatic long-term effects on native people in the Americas”. Learn more from this History.com feature on the man, the controversies, and the consequences.
Christopher Columbus Biography
Famed Italian explorer Christopher Columbus discovered the 'New World' of the Americas on an expedition sponsored by King Ferdinand of Spain in 1492. From Biography.com
Coming to America: Who Was First?
An Article featured on NPR
Children's: History 1 - Christopher Columbus
A You Tube educational video tutorial on Columbus created by XoaX.net.
From Brain Pop Jr. This website also contains quizzes, games, and activities for the younger student.
Columbus Day Facts
From SoftSchools.com, this webpage contains links to related games, activities, and quizzes on Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day.
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.
Columbus Day: Christopher Columbus Sets Sail
Though he didn't produce much profit for the monarchs of Spain, Columbus opened a path to the new world for all of Europe. You Tube presentation from the History Channel.
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.