Columbus Day is on October 12, but it is sometimes celebrated on the second Monday in October. It is a federal holiday, so post offices and federal government offices are closed. Schools in some districts are open while in other districts they are closed. Columbus Day celebrates the 1492 landing of Christopher Columbus on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. The Bahamas are part of the Americas. Christopher Columbus is also called Cristoforo Colombo. This short lesson reviews basic facts about Columbus for K-12 and ESL students. (3-page lesson)
Who was Christopher Columbus?
He was an Italian explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492.
Columbus "discovered America" when he landed on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas.
He was not the first European to visit America, but his visit led to the Spanish colonization of the area, which encouraged other European countries to also colonize the area.
What was Columbus looking for?
He was looking for a sea route to Asia.
European merchants traveled across the land to get silk, spices, and opiates from China and India.
Columbus thought he could find a faster route to Asia.
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