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Lesson Plan

Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus

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Cyberspace Explorer: Getting to Know Christopher Columbus

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 50- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jill Woolley Stafford

Jill Woolley Stafford

Woodbridge, Virginia


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



This lesson supports third- through fifth-grade students' exploration of multiple online sources to gather information about the life of a well-known explorer, Christopher Columbus. After completing a cyber scavenger hunt, students use their notes to prepare a timeline and summary report. Extension activities promote critical literacy by exposing students to Columbus from the perspective of the Native American and by engaging them in a discussion of point of view. The online activity used in this lesson can easily be adapted to study other historical figures (e.g., Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez) and language arts topics (e.g., poetry, figurative language).

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Interactive Timeline: Students will use this interactive tool to build a timeline made up of at least five key dates or events collected during their cyber scavenger hunt.

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Sutherland-Smith, W. (2002). Weaving the literacy Web: Changes in reading from page to screen. The Reading Teacher, 55(7), 662669.

  • Teacher modeling is one strategy that helps students gain accessibility and confidence when utilizing digital text.

  • Web-based literacy skills can be supported through the use of a handout, which offers a step-by-step guide for students.

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