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What Did Columbus Say?

Subject Social Studies — US History
Grade Level Grades 6-8
Resource Type Lesson Plan
Attributes Good for Parents
Standards Alignment


Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain and landed on the islands of a new continent in October 1492. He left the islands in January 1493 and before arriving in Spain, he wrote several letters describing what happened during his time exploring the islands. One letter was addressed to 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.

Class Sessions: 1 to 3


To understand the impacts of European settlement on Native American Indians and Europeans
Students will examine the voyage of Columbus, leading to the Columbian Exchange and the voyages of other explorers such as Champlain, Hudson, and Verrazano.
Students will investigate the reasons for colonization and the role of geography in the development of each colonial region.


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