This biography explores the life of controversial figure Christopher Columbus. Includes comprehension questions, activities, graphic organizer that analyzes character traits. Addresses core standards.
This carefully crafted balanced biography of a historically significant explorer, Christopher Columbus, is perfect for 4th grade and 5th grade students. Students will engage in comprehension activities such using text evidence, context clues, making inferences, answering literal questions. The rich biography and questioning strategies help students improve important reading comprehension skills. Full answer key and graphic organizer are included.
The article is written on 4th grade reading level (9 and 10 years old) but can be used with younger or older kids as determined by their skill level. The activities are great for whole group, small group, individuals, centers, and homework applications. Pages in the packet can be printed either in color or grayscale with good results. These activities are effective as a homeschool or summer reading resource.
Questions and Topics Addressed in this Resource
Christopher Columbus was a very important explorer in history although he never discovered America. This article takes kids on a short journey through Christopher Columbus's life. It covers his birth in Italy in 1451 and through his early childhood that prepared him for the sea. As a young sailor and navigator, trips were dangerous and he almost lost his life on several occasions. Columbus's most important journey had to do with finding a shortcut route to Asia. The monarchy of Spain - Isabella and Ferdinand - finally agreed to sponsor him. He took three ships - the Santa Maria, Pinta, Nina. Columbus's calculations were way off and when he reached land, he thought he made it to the Indies, but he only hit the Bahamas - nearly 10,000 miles short. He found tradable items, however, such as cotton as was treated well when he brought them back to Europe. However, on his return trips, the relations with the natives turned more hostile. Columbus and his crew started taking slaves and becoming violent. The monarchy of Spain had Columbus arrested for crimes against the natives. He immediately lost his fame and soon his riches. He died in 1506 still believing he found a shortcut to Asia. Due to pressure from a group called the Knights of Columbus, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Columbus Day a national holiday in 1937.
Other effective and motivating comprehension resources are available through Rick's Resources as follows:
Reading Comprehension Warm-Ups
Reading Comprehension Historical Heroes
Founding Fathers Reading Comprehension
About the Author
My name is Rick Whitehead and I am a teacher, author, tutor, and mentor. I worked in the public school system for 28 years and was involved in teaching, tutoring, curriculum development, administration, school program design and implementation. I am the author of juvenile fiction and many educational products to help students learn and grow. I am the proprietor of Rick's Resources and All Things Bingo stores.
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