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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

October 08

Columbus Day is recognized today.

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Columbus Day is recognized today.

Grades 3 – 8
Calendar Activity Type Holiday & School Celebration





On this date we celebrate Columbus's landfall in the New World of the Americas in 1492. Just over two months after they set sail, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Mari­a reached San Salvador, rather than their original destination of Cathay (China).




Columbus's Book of Privileges is one of the "Top Treasures" featured in the American Treasures of the Library of Congress. The book outlines the rewards and privileges with which Isabel and Fernando of Spain rewarded Columbus as a result of his exploration of the Americas.

Have your students create a class or individual "Book of Privileges." Begin by brainstorming accomplishments that your students have achieved and match those accomplishments with the related rewards. Like Columbus's Book of Privileges, your students' books can capture both what students have accomplished and the rewards or privileges they have received as a result of their work.



  • The Columbus Navigation Homepage

    This site provides articles on the history of Columbus and his voyages, how he navigated, his ships and crew, his interaction with Native Americans, and more. Images and maps are included, as well as links to further information about Columbus.


  • BBC: Famous People

    Designed for 5- to 7-year-olds, this BBC Schools website features multiple famous people, including Christopher Columbus. The site includes information about Columbus's travels, games, photos, and a quiz.


  • AIM Opposes Columbus Day

    This essay from the American Indian Movement details why they feel that Columbus Day should not be celebrated. Compare this perspective to that espoused in the article Columbus Day: A Time to Celebrate.



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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus

Students explore multiple online sources to gather information about the life of Christopher Columbus, complete a cyber scavenger hunt, and use their notes to prepare a timeline and summary report.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems

This lesson uses concrete poems to explore the connection between a poem's layout and its meaning. While appropriate any time of year, the lesson is especially topical near Columbus Day.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

A Genre Study of Letters With The Jolly Postman

Students read The Jolly Postman, in which a postman delivers letters to storybook characters. They explore different types of mail and categorize letters from the book and their own mail.