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What Did Columbus Say?
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What Did Columbus Say?


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Grade Level Grades 3-5
Resource Type Lesson Plan
Standards Alignment

About This Lesson

Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain and landed on the islands of an unnamed continent in October 1492. On his journey back to Spain in January 1493, he wrote several letters describing what happened during his time exploring the islands. One letter was for the Monarchs of the Spanish Court, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand; one was addressed to Luis De Sant Angel (Santangel), who helped finance the voyage; and one to Gabriel Sanchez, treasurer of the Monarchs.

Copies were made of each – by hand – and then sent to printers throughout Europe, where the letters were translated into different languages, copied, printed, and distributed in other countries.


Students will learn about some of the passages in a letter written by Christopher Columbus after his first voyage. Through activities and class discussions they will gain an understanding of Columbus and what was written.

Grades 3 to 4; Class Sessions: 1 to 3


Impacts of exploration—social/cultural, economic, political, and geographic
Students will examine the how Native Americans viewed the newcomers.
Students will map the key areas of the Western Hemisphere that were colonized by the English, Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, comparing the locations, relative sizes, and key resources of these regions.
Students will investigate explorers from different European countries and map the areas of the Western Hemisphere where they explored, including Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, Jacques Cartier, Pedro Cabral, and Vasco Nunez de Balboa.
Students will map the movement of people, plants, animals, and disease between Europe, the Americas, and Africa.


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