Christopher Columbus Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about the impact that Christopher Columbus had on lives in the 15th century, as well as today. Examine his voyages and their effect on Spain and the natives in the New World.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • describe the four voyages of Columbus
  • analyze the effect of Columbus' voyages on both Spain and the natives


40 minutes, plus 40 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Key Terms

  • Christopher Columbus
  • Indies
  • Encomienda
  • Repartimiento


Enhance learning and engage prior knowledge by reviewing with students the following topics:

  • The political situation in 1492 Spain (expulsion of the Moors)
  • The standing of Native American civilization
  • The need for easy access to the East

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