Columbus Day

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 10848

Do you celebrate Columbus Day or just let it slip by? Do you know why we honor Columbus? Do you know why some people revile him? Videos, online articles, activities, and a project will open your eyes!


United States, World Cultures

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Do you remember the Christopher Columbus nursery rhyme?

Refresh your memory with the short children's video below.

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You have likely heard that Christopher Columbus discovered America, but you might not know much else about him.

  • Why do some people celebrate Columbus Day?
  • Why do others think it should not be a holiday?
  • Is it possible for one man to achieve great things while also making huge mistakes?

Sail into this lesson, learn more about this man, and decide if Columbus Day is worthy of celebration!

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who lived in the 15th century. He is famous for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. When he reached the Americas, he called it the New World.

  • Quite an accomplishment, wouldn't you say?

After all, there is a holiday named after him, so it is important to have all the facts straight!

Many people consider him a key figure in world history because his voyages (marked below) helped connect Europe and the Americas.

map of Columbus' voyages

As you explore the following resources and video, take notes on the basic facts, expeditions, accomplishments, controversies, etc.

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  • Did you learn anything that you didn't previously know about Christopher Columbus?
  • What surprised you the most?

Continue to the Got It? section for a quiz and a game!

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