Unique Columbus Day Lesson Plans
Each year, we have a goal to teach meaningful and educational lessons about different holidays. Don’t get us wrong, we love giving kids holiday-themed activities (like making those oh-so-cute holiday crafts) but we were ready for a change. We wanted something more academic without sacrificing the fun!
Normally on Columbus Day we read a cute story and then do some kind of art project, but we really wanted to dig deeper into these important events in history and teach the students something new and interesting. We wanted educational AND the cute story with the craft. Is that too much to ask?
Finding all the right resources and materials on Christopher Columbus proved to be quite difficult, so we wrote our own text!
How did we structure a Columbus Day lesson?
During the day’s lessons, the class read a complex text on those famous 1492 events, answered text dependent questions, and then took notes on a note sheet. (Find out more about text dependent questioning here!)
Then we had students sequence a timeline of events based on their reading. We used the beautiful illustrations from the text to have really good class conversations about dialogue, and we predicted what some of the people would have been talking about in each picture, summarizing what we learned from the text.
Of course, the students’ favorite part was making a tableau of the illustrations from the text. The students worked together in small groups to decide what the actors would be doing and what the narrators would say.
The actors and narrators collaborated in each group to create a tableau that really demonstrated their understanding of the events from the text. Here is an example of a group planning sheet for our Columbus tableau- interactive drama activity!
Finally, we made the cute art project we are all use to doing for holidays, but we accompanied it with writing about what we learned on a flip book. The students enjoyed having something to take home to share their learning with their families.
The kids loved creating (and especially PERFORMING) their tableaus with each other! This reading and interactive drama lesson about Christopher Columbus was very meaningful and engaging for students! The activities supported students (even our cute firsties) in remembering this important time in history.
Are you feeling like you don’t have time to make your own materials but you want to teach meaningful, memorable lessons too?
Then, we’ve created amazing Christopher Columbus lesson plans just for you!
Check out our unique, integrated, interactive, dramatic, Columbus Day packs for primary and upper grades- complete with detailed lesson plans, printable complex text, text coding posters, tableau planning sheets, and simple costumes. Grab the Grades 1-3 Columbus Lesson Integrated Plans by clicking on the image below:
Or, grab the Grades 4-6 Columbus Integrated Lesson Plans by clicking this image below: