Columbus set sail from Spain on this day in history in search of a direct western route to Asia. Between what he did and did not accomplish, Christopher Columbus’ exploration is the stuff from which legends are made.
During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainland, but never accomplished his original goal—a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. ~ Read more from the History Channel
Activities, curriculum and books, oh my!
A quick search on Amazon or B&N will provide a variety of sources for discovering the Explorers, and especially Christopher Columbus.
If you are looking for something fun for today, for ages 5-13, I recommend A Journey Through Learning’s Christopher Columbus Express (lapbook), which can be downloaded from CurrClick. A general search on CurrClick will produce a variety of downloadables and original text books, like Christopher Columbus’ Journal from Brandenburg Studies (FREE).
Many of these books should be available at your local library. You can do a search from home on worldcat.org to see if those books are located near you.
Recommended Historical Fiction
It’s Columbus Day!
Are you excited? Or are you uninspired? Did it sneak up on you, and now you wonder what can you possibly do at this point? Well, I’ve gathered together a few books we have on hand at the CERC Bookstore, and a few more quick and easy resources. Your local homeschool bookstore and/or library should have some of these books on-hand.
Depending on your current homeschool history curriculum, you can choose how in-depth you wish to tackle the subject of Christopher Columbus and the Exploration of the New World.
Many of the books and resources I will be listing come from Nothing New Press’ All through the Ages: History through Literature Guide by Christine Miller. For today’s purposes, I will share a couple of recommended titles, but you can check out this great resource on the Nothing New Press site for future studies. ($30.95 paperback; $20.95 ebook).
- Ship by David Macaulay (RA/IR: all ages K+) – You can not go wrong with David Macaulay books.
- Voyages of Columbus by John D. Clare (RA: K+; IR: 6th+) – Living History book. Well written. Great Series.
- Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky (Step into Reading Step 2 Gr. 1-3)
- Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad (RA: K+; IR: 4th+) – Loved this as a read aloud.
- I, Columbus: My Journal by Connie Roop (RA: K+; IR: 3rd+) – Easy read with pictures.
- A Book of Discovery by M.B. Synge (Yesterday’s Classics)(IR: 7th+) – check your local homeschool bookstore.
If you are a first time visitor, you are about to find out that one of my favorite sites for a quick and easy Unit Study is CurrClick.com. You can type in any subject or idea, and there is at least one resource or unit study available to download and print. For today’s purposes, you can find multiple resources for “Columbus Day” or “Columbus”. They have resources and crafts for all ages.
- History Pockets: Explorers of North America from Evan-Moor (EMC 3708) is a fun project based resource if you want to spend more time on Explorers. Graded for 4-6th, it’s a great hands-on supplement to any text on Explorers, while providing educational text which can stand alone. You can find this resource at most teacher or homeschool stores, as well as in whole or in part at CurrClick.com.
- Notebooking Nook – great printables. Love their images – you will find Columbus Day in their October Notebook.
- M.K. Harllee produces a variety of materials.
- Hands of a Child produces a variety of materials for LapBooks – recommend for 4th+.
- Exploration of North America Coloring Book from Dover
- Explorers Who Got Lost by Diane Dreher
- The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster
As always, have some fun! There can be joy in the learning!
- Shop Local! – As a bookstore manager myself, I highly recommend shopping your local homeschool resource store. They work really hard to be there for their homeschool families year round! (our Store Locator List is growing – if your local homeschool bookstore is not listed here, please recommend them!)
- For quick access for Columbus Day, check out your Local Library!
- Shop the publishers directly!
- For the out-of-print, and hard to find pieces, I’m including Amazon pictures and links. By clicking links into Amazon Marketplace, I do earn a small commission based on your purchase. It doesn’t change the listed price, it just supports my glorious book addiction.