Saturday, October 10, 2015

Christopher Columbus

This week, we did an extensive study of Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo) in honor of Columbus Day next week.  This is the first thorough biography I have done with Maggie and I was excited about it.  This study came on the heels of our book study of The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf last week.  What is interesting is that we studied Spain and Columbus lived in Spain.  Further, the Spanish king who Columbus approached to support his voyage was King Ferdinand, so it was great that these names and places were fresh on Maggie's mind going into this week.  Here is what we did.

We first started by reading Who Was Christopher Columbus? by Bonnie Bader.  This was our very first Who Is ...?/Who Was ...? book and we enjoyed it a lot.  I was grateful for the great illustrations to keep her attention.  (I was glad it went well because I pre-purchased a lot of these books to use this year.)
After our reading, we set out to make a spice painting like the one we saw at  (I knew she would love doing this.)  First, I found a coloring sheet online of a sailing ship (I chose the one at and printed it onto cardstock.
Then I gave Maggie various spices in different colors and some white glue to adhere them onto the picture with.  (It helped to spread the glue thinly over the areas with a clean Popsicle stick first.)
 It smelled so good!
 It turned out so great!
We decided this one was one of the caravels (either the Nina or the Pinta) because of the number of sails.  (The Santa Maria was a much larger ship.)
On Day 2 of this study, we reviewed what we learned about Columbus by reading the information about him in The Complete Book of United States History (Grades 3-5), pages 30-34.
We also read the information for him in The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, page 289.  (We use this resource ALL OF THE TIME.)
Once our reading was done, we completed the "Christopher Columbus Matching" worksheet found at
For a snack, we had an orange slice Nina on ocean water (blue raspberry jello).
She was tickled over it!
On Day 3 of this study, we checked out page 4 of our Usborne See Inside: Exploration and Discovery flapbook, entitled "Over the Ocean," about Columbus' voyage.
Then we watched this classic Christopher Columbus cartoon we found on YouTube.  It's so cute.  I love stuff like this.
Next, we read the Columbus poem together from
... and completed the "Columbus Day Word Scramble" found at
For another fun activity, we turned to page 12 of our Usborne Sticker Dressing: Explorers sticker book to dress Columbus for his voyage.
 Looks great, Mags!
On the last day of this study, she read A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus by David A. Adler on Reading Rainbow's Skybrary.  (I LOVE this app!  It's like having our own library in the house!  She can do a keyword search and find books and videos that she can manually turn and read with the mouse.  It is awesome!)
Here she is, on Skybrary, reading today's book.
Finally, we completed a 3-D map of Columbus' journey using pages 14-17 of our Scholastic Interactive 3-D Maps: American History, entitled "Columbus Lands in America."
It turned out so good!
 And it's interactive!  Maggie can move the ships along the voyage route.  So cute!
We had a lot of fun studying Christopher Columbus!  Next week, we will go back to Five in a Row and do a book study of The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl.  This is a great next read about feudal society after learning about King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella this past week.  I love when we are able to make connections like this!  Check in again soon!

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