Mrs. Lesser's Classroom

Yukon Public Schools

Sailing the Ocean Blue…


Ahoy, maties! Today, we launched into a discussion about the famous Christopher Columbus! To test what students already knew, we made a KWL (know, want to know, learned) chart on our whiteboard. First, students wrote one thing they already knew about Christopher Columbus on a yellow sticky note. There was a wide range of knowledge among the classes but most students wrote something about Columbus’ voyage to the Americas in 1492.

Then, they wrote one thing they wanted to know about Columbus on a pink note. Lots of kids wanted to know when Columbus was born, how old he was when he died, whether he was ever seasick, and more about his family life.

Finally, I read a picture book aloud to students and they explored a website where they looked at photos, read a mini-book about Columbus, took a quiz, learned some fun facts and played an interactive game about the long journey to the New World. After we came back, we wrote one new thing we learned about Columbus on a green sticky note and added it to our chart.

I was amazed at the discussion we had after this lesson. Students were very engaged in wondering whether Columbus really was the first one to discover America, how the world might be different if he hadn’t made his voyage, how the Native Americans must have felt when the Europeans arrived, and much more. I was so excited that our research sparked such a lively debate!!

You can click this link to visit the site we explored today and show your family what all you learned about Columbus! —->

STUDENTS – SOUND OFF!!! Thoughtfully answer this question to earn a Hershey’s Kiss tomorrow (you may use only your first name or your initials to comment)

  • Based on what we learned today, do you think Christopher Columbus is a hero or a villain? Explain why!



  1. He showed courage because he sailed across the ocean and proved that the world was not flat. He sailed for years and didn’t turn back.

  2. I think Christopher Columbus is a hero because if he did not sail we would not be here. Even though he captured native Americans I still think he is a hero. He also did not care that it was going to take years to sail (he thought it would take less years) he still tried to prove his opinion.

  3. I think that he was a hero because he was the first one to discover America besides the vikings,he proved that the world was round and not flat,he was brave enough to go on a boat and to not know where he was going.

  4. He is a hero because America would not exist if he didn’t sail and found our country

    Christopher Columbus !!!!!!!

  5. I think Christopher is a villan
    because he sold slaves ,acted greedy and started to want everything to his self ,and he didn’t keep his promises he made

  6. I think Columbus was a hero.First off we wouldn’t be alive without him.We might also live in a different country.He discovered America.That is so COOL!He also showed people even though there idea is silly you can still believe in it.Another thing he did was discovered the world was round. As you can see, clearly Columbus was a hero!

  7. I think he is a villan because he broke promises to queen isabella and you do not want to mess with a queen.

  8. He did his best to sail to the Indies but ended up in the Americas. It’s not his fault he ran out of supplies and had to go back. It’s his crew’s fault for getting greedy and starting a war with the Native Americans. (Or as the the Old Worlders would have said the Indians.)

  9. a villian because he sold people and begged for ships and gold.he didn’t bring his promises

  10. he is a hero!!!!!

  11. i think he is a villian because he sold people as slaves and didnt keep his promises

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