Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration for Kids: With 21 Activities (For Kids series)

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9781613746745: Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration for Kids: With 21 Activities (For Kids series)
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An NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

Christopher Columbus is one of the most famous people in world history, yet few know the full story of the amazing, resourceful, and tragic Italian explorer. Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration for Kids portrays the “Admiral of the Ocean Seas” neither as hero nor heel but as a flawed and complex man whose significance is undeniably monumental. Kids will gain a fuller picture of the seafarer’s life, his impact, and the dangers and thrills of exploration as they learn about all four of Columbus’s voyages to the New World, not just his first, as well as the year that Columbus spent stranded on the island of Jamaica without hope of rescue. Students, parents, and teachers will appreciate the in-depth discussions of the indigenous peoples of the New World and of the consequences of Columbus’s voyages—the exchange of diseases, ideas, crops, and populations between the New World and the Old. Fun hands-on activities illuminate both the nautical concepts introduced and the times in which Columbus lived. Kids can:

  • Tie nautical knots
  • Conduct a blanket (silent) trade
  • Make a compass
  • Simulate a hurricane
  • Take nautical measurements
  • And much more

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About the Author:

Ronald A. Reis is the author of numerous biographies for young adults, including the Spur Award–winning Buffalo Bill Cody.

From Booklist:

Christopher Columbus’ biography is not a simple story to tell. It is wrought with legend, lore, myth, and historiographical inconsistencies. Yet this book manages to offer a straightforward glimpse into the life and times of Columbus with a narrative that does not shy away from more unsettling aspects of his life, including his treatment of the Arawak people and his unflinching belief that he had reached the Indies, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Drawing heavily on primary source material, such as Columbus’ own papers and Bartolomé de las Casas’ accounts of encounters with Native Americans, the text examines Columbus’ career, personal life, and professional goals. Reis puts the explorer in context with a thorough look at motivations for exploration and scientific beliefs of the time. Throughout the book, 21 activities are offered as reinforcement, including projects to re-create a solar eclipse with a flashlight, and to make a quadrant and compass. Many of these activities are STEM friendly, making this a useful interdisciplinary resource. Grades 5-8. --Erin Anderson

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