Columbus Day is a holiday that we don’t miss. Even though we do not take off on the day as homeschoolers we still commemorate the observance. In my homeschool we have three age groups. Fifth grade, first grade , and kindergarten are the grades that I accommodate.
Celebrating any holiday with fun, games and learning can be a challenge, but this holiday did not come with any ready made de oration ideas like Valentines Day. My lesson plans for Columbus Day are self created with a little bit of each subject but a whole lot of fun!
My first step when creating activities is to do research in books to gather information for each of the subjects. It is a lot like putting together a unit study but I use activities.
Math Activities for Columbus Day
I use regular game ideas for math a lot. When incorporating a harder topic into our math learning it takes a little bit of creativity. Factoring, adding, money, and time are the four sections I chose to cover. Factoring I will use numbers that come about from the information I have read in our research. If Columbus borrowed money, or needed money we use those sums and gab our money to have some hands on learning. Time comes for his travels, and I include my youngest in this to get him a basic concept of the clock. I like to teach up so that when he is a fifth grader this will be a repeat.
Adding comes from how many people, trips or goods that we found through our research.
Science Activities for Columbus Day
Building a ship with basic tools and then adding it to water. When the research is complete add it to the science journal.
Geography for Columbus Day
Map skills are great for any age. So many activities can be used for each grade level. Using copies of Columbus’ voyage that are laminated to use for tracing have been one of the ways that I am able to teach them the oceans, his route and the countries he visited. For my older two I will have them research or answer questions regarding life on the ship or the names of the boats. Last year we listened to a great history cd that enabled all of the kids to have an idea of life on the ship.
Writing and Reading for Columbus Day
In my lesson planning preparations I will tag a day to order library books, and on that day I order books for the week or any upcoming holiday. Columbus Day I will order several books for my different age range and read them during read aloud time. For comprehension we discuss the setting, characters and conflicts within the story. My youngest who cannot write yet will get to tell me his story and I will write it out for him, but the other two get to write their own topic from what they heard.