Columbus Day in the Primary Clasroom

Since we typically have the day off for Columbus Day, I do acknowledge it.  And it's in our standards to teach it, too.   However, instead of focusing on Columbus being the first to discover America...which, by the way is highly disputed...we focus on exploration, new discoveries, and Christopher Columbus' explorations.

I figured today would be a great day to share with y'all what I posted last case you're planning, too!  

If you're all about the snacks....which you know I am!!!...then these are pretty fun...and cute, to boot!  Of course, this will take a little ambition which I don't always have when it comes to preparation the night before.  I'm usually too tired to make dinner :)  Ha!


This version is fun, too!  

You could even have your kids assemble the snack and then write an expository piece about how they made it.

I like to start most of my themed units with a poem or song of some sort.  There are lots of Columbus Day type songs out there.  I made up this little one and my boys won't stop singing it.  Oy.  

I included a printable version for poetry folders/independent reading station/etc. as well as song strips for the pocket chart...

I absolutely LOVE incorporating vocabulary activities into anything I can.  After reading the book Word Nerds last year, I was on a mission to amp up the vocabulary instruction in my classroom.  I think our babies definitely have the capacity to not only learn, but use "big words" in their every day vocabulary...we just have to guide them in the right direction and provide lots of opportunities for them to work with these words.  

I wrote a little "Let's Learn About Columbus" booklet and highlighted some important vocabulary words from the story...

I also included printable story vocabulary cards and a couple of activities to go with those words.

I'm also loving this "ship-shape" sequencing book that follows along with the story, too!

It's this time of the year that I like to talk about symbols.  I create a symbols anchor chart that describes what they are and how they are used.  I included a printable where the kids have to sort symbols and match them to their corresponding holiday and I also included this little booklet.  For this activity, the kids have to look at the symbol on the sail and then write the word on on the lines.  This would be a great independent writing activity!

We're going to have the kids use these vocabulary picture/word cards as a resource when completing these activities.  They're also going to have them displayed in their writing center.

I thought it would be fun for the kids to take some of those same vocabulary words and sort them into alphabetical order, so I made this little cut and paste booklet for that...

I also included this little writing craftivity and two different writing prompts.  My oldest wanted to make one of his own as soon as he saw this one.  Bless. 
You can check out this resource & read the details HERE.  

I hope this helps with your planning!!!


  1. You have some very cute ideas for Columbus Day!! When I was in elementary, I remember Columbus Day being briefly talked about, but I don't remember any activities or celebration for it. I hope to use some of these ideas for my own class someday. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Columbus day. Never heard of it in Germany.

    Maybe I grab some ideas to bring it here.

  3. Your ideas are always adorable. I stop buy to see what you are doing and get inspired. Here in California, we don't touch Columbus Day. Way too controversial.

  4. Love the blue drinks with "boat" shaped fruit. So clever!!

  5. I totally love add in words activities into something I can. After reading the this post for last two days I was on a task to ramp up the vocabulary training in my classroom.

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