Columbus Day Activities

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Posted on Oct 11 2011 - 3:00pm by Jill
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In honor of Columbus Day I tried to incorporate as many activities revolving around Christopher Columbus as possible. One fact that my son remembers every Columbus Day is that the expedition did not have coffee/ran out. My children tried to tell me that I should go without coffee so I would know how Columbus felt back then (I have told my son since a young age that perhaps Columbus was a little mean and cranky to his fellow crew mates and coworkers since he didn’t have his cup of morning coffee, LOL. It worked as a logical excuse at the time since my son was 4 years old and so upset that Columbus was not the nicest guy to the people around. Hey it excused a meltdown at the time and I had no idea it would stick, LOL.). My response to my children was exactly this ” Sure I will not have my afternoon cup of coffee today but that leaves you with only 2 choices for the afternoon. Number one I will go take a nap as of 2:00pm and you must complete all of my chores and make dinner (they both immediately nixed that idea). Number two you will see up close and personal how cranky Mr. Columbus was without coffee.” Needless to say they dropped their insistence that I go without coffee for the day, LOL.

First we made a map showing the expedition that Christopher Columbus’ ships (Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria) took in 1492. We marked his journey on the map with glitter (our son suggested gold since Columbus wanted to find spices and gold). We then took empty egg cartons and cut them into the shapes of boats. Our son wrote out tags and named each ship appropriately. Then our daughter colored a picture of Christopher Columbus and placed it on a ship. They both seemed to have a great time putting this together! It was great practice not only for our daughter to place the continents but for our son to focus his attention on the details of a map.

We read some books. A few of them are pictured below and I was able to get them from our local library. I did however find one printable emergent reader that was fantastic and FREE! Click here to go to Look about half way down the page and you will see the printable book “In 1492 … “.

We used a map from our WonderMaps Program that showed the routes of Christopher Colmbus’ expeditions. I also found this wonderful printable map for free at

We also did a lesson on BrainPop Jr. Although we have a paid membership there are certain parts that are offered for free on this website. I checked the site and it appears that the Christopher Columbus lesson set is free to anyone. I highly suggest checking it out! There is a short video, quiz, activity, game, etc.

At the end of the day I had our son do some notebooking pages about what he learned about Christopher Columbus today. You can find these notebooking pages here Search Christopher Columbus and it will pop up multiple notebooking pages to print for free.

What activities did you do in your homeschool to learn about Christopher Columbus?


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