Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Christopher Columbus: A 1492 Lesson Kids Will Remember

This year I have a goal to teach meaningful and educational lessons about holidays. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching about holidays and doing fun holiday crafts in my classroom, but I am ready for a change. I normally read a cute story about the holiday and then do a fun craft, but I really want to dig deeper into these important events in history and teach my students something new and interesting. Finding holiday materials that are educational and engaging can be difficult so we (The Core Coaches) worked together and created an amazing Christopher Columbus lesson. We decided to create a close read interactive drama pack. We wrote complex text for primary and upper grades and made posters for text coding.
4-6 Text Coding Poster
1-3 Text Coding Poster

During this lesson, we will read the complex text and code the text as a class. Then we fill out a main idea graphic organizer and sequence the events from Christopher Columbus's timeline. We use the beautiful illustrations to have really good class conversations about the dialogue and we predict what some of the people would have been talking about in each picture. Then we make a tableau of the illustrations from the text. The students work together to decide what the actors will be doing and what the narrators will need to say. The actors and narrators collaborate in each group to create a tableau that really demonstrates their understanding of the events from the text. Here is an example of our group planning sheet for the "Tableau, an interactive drama" activity!

This close reading and interactive drama lesson plan is meaningful and engaging! These activities support students (even our cute firsties) in remembering this important time in history.

 Grab the Grades 1-3 unit from our TPT store by clicking on the image below:

Or, grab the Grades 4-6 unit from TPT by clicking this image below:

Here are some other fabulous resources that we use with our lesson plan sets on Christopher Columbus.

We enjoy using these books and videos to compare and contrast with the Christopher Columbus texts that come in the pack.
Younger grade video and picture book-

Upper grade video and book-



  1. These look awesome! I am having a hard time getting the link for Grades 1-3 to work. It looks like something I would use in my class!
    Heidi Neels
    Flipping for First

    1. Thank you Heidi! I fixed the link, hopefully you can get to it now. Thanks for pointing that out for us, we really appreciate it.

  2. Can't miss the wonderful styling and interior at this place. As I walked upstairs, my eyes wandered about the brick wall interior and the overall décor. This is by far one of the best convention center to organize event.