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Christopher Columbus Poem


Language Arts, Social Studies  


K, 1  

By – Karen Mercurio



Each student will be introduced to rhyming sounds by using poetry.



Flip chart or large poster board


Index cards



  1. Write the following poem on a large flip chart leaving the last word in each second line blank. The words to be left blank are in underlined italics below. Attach a small piece of Velcro in the blank space where the word should go.
  2. On separate index cards write each of the missing words, one per card. Attach the opposite piece of Velcro on the back of each card.



  1. Ask if any of the students know who Christopher Columbus is. Find out if they are familiar with the poem about him. (The students should brainstorm things they know about him)
  2. Review rhyming words, brainstorm a few.
  3. Read the poem to the children, telling them to listen for the rhyming words.
  4. Break the children up into 7 groups.
  5. Give each group two of the index cards containing the words.
  6. Show the children the chart with the missing words.
  7. Re-read the poem pausing at the empty word allowing the child/group who has that word to come up and place it where it belongs.
  8. Re-read the poem together
  9. When finished, allow the students to write their own poem about Christopher Columbus.
  10. Have the students substitute the missing words with words of their own.


The Poem: In 1492

In fourteen ninety-two

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.


He had three ships and left from Spain;

He sailed through sunshine, wind, and rain.


He sailed by night; he sailed by day;

He used the stars to find his way.


A compass also helped him know

How to find the way to go.


Ninety sailors were on board;

Some men worked while others snored.


Then the workers went to sleep;

And others watched the ocean deep.



Day after day they looked for land;

They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.


October 12 their dream came true,

You never saw a happier crew!


“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried;

His heart was filled with joyful pride.


But “India” the land was not;

It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.


The Arakawa natives were very nice;

They gave the sailors food and spice.


Columbus sailed on to find some gold

To bring back home, as he’d been told.


He made the trip again and again,

Trading gold to bring to Spain.


The first American? No, not quite.

But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.



Poem taken from

E-Mail Karen Mercurio !

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