Digital and Print Columbus Day Word Search & Crossword Puzzles, Reading Passage

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The ESL Nexus
Grade Levels
5th - 8th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
19 PDF pages & 15 Google Slides
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Using a reading passage and 3 differentiated word search puzzles plus 1 crossword puzzle, this resource teaches students about Columbus Day. All the puzzles use 20 words related to Christopher Columbus and the impact of his voyages. Please see below for a list of the words. The reading passage and the puzzles come in both Print and Google Drive™ versions.

✓ Please note:

A Boom Learning℠ version of this Columbus Day resource is available HERE.

Resource at a Glance:

What will students learn?

* Information about Christopher Columbus and what the impact of his voyages was. * 20 vocabulary words related to the holiday.

Who is it for?

All students but especially English Language Learners who are not familiar with the holiday.

How does it help teachers?

* Use it to introduce lessons about the holiday or to extend learning after teaching about the holiday.

* The reading passage provides facts about the life and legacy of Columbus.

* The puzzles can be used for homework, in centers, as fillers, and for early finishers.

* Printable and digital versions mean it can be used both with in-person classes and distance teaching.

* The digital version lets students practice some technology skills.


What you get in this Columbus Day product:

In the PDF file:

★ A list of materials in the PDF and Google Drive™ files (1 page)

Notes to the Teacher (explanatory information for teachers) (1 page)

★ Instructions for accessing the Google Drive™ materials (1 page)

★ Instructions for doing the online versions of the puzzles (4 pages)

★ Reading passage about the life and legacy of Columbus (1 page)

★ 3 word search puzzles with answer keys (6 pages)

★ Word bank for the crossword puzzle (1 page)

★ 1 crossword puzzle with answer key (2 pages)

★ Copyright, related products, social media, and credits information (1 page)

★ Cover page (1 page)

In the Google Drive™ materials:

★ Cover page (1 slide)

★ Instructions for doing the online versions of the puzzles (4 slides)

★ Reading passage about the life and legacy of Columbus (1 slide)

★ 3 word search puzzles with answer keys (6 slides)

★ Word bank for the crossword puzzle (1 slide)

★ 1 crossword puzzle with answer key (2 slides)

More Info:

The reading passage is a short biography of Christopher Columbus. The text is written in easy to understand language so English Language Learners at intermediate and higher levels of language proficiency can comprehend it. It provides background information about Columbus for students who are not familiar with his life and legacy.

The word searches are available at 3 levels of difficulty, based on the direction the words are written in the puzzle, so they can meet the needs of all your students, including English Language Learners. Answer keys are provided for all the puzzles. In addition, there is a word bank for the crossword puzzle for students who need additional support.

Both Print and Google Drive versions are provided for all the Columbus Day puzzles. The PDF file includes teacher notes, instructions for accessing the online materials, instructions for completing the puzzles as well as all the word searches and the crossword puzzle with their answer keys and word bank. The Google Drive materials include directions for using the materials, the word search puzzles and the crossword puzzle, the word bank, and the answer keys for the puzzles.

The words used in the puzzles are: Admiral, Caravel, Caribbean, Columbus, Disease, Expedition, Explorer, Ferdinand, Genoa, Gold, Hispaniola, Indies, Isabella, New World, October, Old World, San Salvador, Slavery, Spain, Taino.

Here are some additional ways you can use the vocabulary words in this resource about Christopher Columbus :

★ For words that may be new, you can have your students find their definitions and use those words in sentences.

★ Students can also draw pictures that illustrate the words to show their understanding.

★ More proficient students can write paragraphs that include some of the words.

★ Extend your students’ learning by having them record their sentences online, for speaking and technology practice.

You can use this resource remotely in 2 ways:

a) When teaching synchronously or asynchronously online, use the Google Drive version.

b) For students to do on their own: Photocopy the puzzle(s) you want your students to do and the appropriate answer key (if you want students to correct their work themselves) and email/send the material home. Alternatively, if students have printers, email the puzzle(s) to them and tell them to print the work out themselves. Tell students what to do and have them email/send you their work when they’ve completed the puzzle(s). Use the rubric to correct the work if you prefer doing that yourself.

Use this resource to help your students learn about the Columbus Day holiday and Columbus the explorer!


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Thank you and happy teaching!

© 2015 Google Inc. All rights reserved. Google Drive is a trademark of Google Inc. The ESL Nexus is the sole creator of this product and does not claim endorsement or association with Google, Inc.

Common Core Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved. Any claims of correlation or alignment to the CCSS Standards are solely those of The ESL Nexus and have not been evaluated or endorsed by the NGA. The ESL Nexus is the sole creator of this product and does not claim endorsement or association with the creators of the CCSS standards.

Boom Learning and Boom Cards are the trademarks of Boom Learning Inc. Used with permission.


Total Pages
19 PDF pages & 15 Google Slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


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