The Federal Columbus Day holiday gets celebrated on the 2nd Monday of October. It commemorates Italian explorer Christopher Columbus who discovered the Americas on October 12, 1492. As school children many of us remember reciting, “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Columbus hoped to find a Western route to Asia, but stumbled upon a new world instead.
Younger students enjoy coloring pages, songs, and puzzles. Older students may wish to delve into the life and times of Christopher Columbus, or explore the historical controversy surrounding the impact on native populations in the areas he explored. Have them check out www.history.com/content/columbusday as a place to start.
The following selection of free Columbus Day themed materials can be printed and copied for use in the classroom.
1. Christopher Columbus:
These pictures have no text and are suitable for all elementary ages.
2. Columbus’ Ships:
The first link prints a ship suitable for 1st -4th grade. The second link is suitable for Pre-K through 2nd grade.
3. Maps of the world:
These maps are suitable for 4th-6th grade students. Maps can teach students about some of the how’s and why’s of exploration. Looking at a map, students can understand why Columbus ran into the American Continents when he sailed west to find Asia. Can your students make other observations about how geography changed history?
4. This free printable word search is suitable for children in 3rd through 5th grade.
5. Columbus Day word search for 3rd-5th grade students.
Who doesn’t love a word search? I still enjoy them as an adult.
6. This Columbus Day Acrostic Poem worksheet is suitable for students in grade 4 through 7.
Acrostic poems are some of the easiest forms of poetry for students to grasp. Even if they can’t think of rhymes or stanza for a traditional poem, they can compose an acrostic poem with words starting with the letters of the word selected for the poem.
7. Kids love crossword puzzles.
This crossword puzzle is suitable for 2nd-4th grade students.
8. Have children create a map of Columbus’ voyage and make his ships.
Enchanted Learning is a great free resource for teachers of elementary age kids.
9. Pre-K and Kindergarten students will appreciate these Columbus Day edible crafts and activities.
The apple boat snack and the tugboat craft would be especially easy to do for little expense.
10. For the singers among us these Columbus Day tunes will thrill the kids.
This Columbus Day teachers can find loads of great resource on-line. Coloring pages, puzzles, songs, and worksheets can entertain and educate.