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With the poem “In 1492″, you can teach Columbus Day and poetry too!


Language Arts, Social Studies  


K, 1  

Title – Christopher Columbus Poem
Topic – Pre Reading (Rhyming)
By – Karen Mercurio
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – K-1

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

Standards: Massachusetts Language Standards

Questioning, Listening, and Contributing

    2.1 Contribute knowledge to class discussion in order to develop a topic for a class project.

Formal and Informal English

    6.1 Identify formal and informal language in stories, poems, and plays


    14.1 Identify a regular beat and similarities of sounds in words in responding to rhythm and rhyme in poetry.

Material List:

      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 a separate index cards write each of the missing words, one per card. Attach the opposite piece of Velcro on the back of each card.


      Ask if any of the children know who Christopher Columbus is. Find out if they are familiar with the poem about him. The children can brainstorm things they know about him.


      Review rhyming words, brainstorm a few.


      Read the poem to the children, telling them to listen for rhyming words.


      Break the children up into 7 groups


      Give each group two of the index cards containing


      the words.


      Show the children the chart with the missing words


    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. Re-read the poem together.

Carry over:

Allow the children to write their own poem about Christopher Columbus.
Have the children substitute the missing words with ones of their own.

The Poem:

IN 1492

In fourteen hundred 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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