Columbus Day Activities and Teacher Resources

What Does Columbus Day Celebrate?

Columbus Day occurs on the second Monday in October. This holiday, commemorating the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas, has been unofficially celebrated as early as the 18th century, and became a federal holiday in 1937. Since then, it’s become a topic of controversy with many alternative holidays being proposed since the 1970s. Columbus Day 2022 will take place on Monday, October 10.

What Places Celebrate Columbus Day?

With the image of Christopher Columbus as a heroic explorer being called into question, there has been a movement in some states away from celebrating Columbus Day. Currently the following states do not officially celebrate Columbus Day: Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. Indigenous Peoples’ Day - also know as Native American Day - has become a holiday often celebrated instead of Columbus Day and celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans.

Columbus Day Activities for the Classroom

Browse this collection of lessons, printables, and activities for all grades on this controversial explorer. You'll find cross-curricular Columbus Day resources for math, art, language arts, and more. Teach your students about the history of this holiday and debunk myths about Christopher Columbus. Students will learn about the geography and history of the New World as they track this explorer's travels, with mini-lessons for elementary students, fun quizzes, and mapping activities.

Whiteboard Compatible Mini-Lessons

Use these 15 minute mini-lessons to give your students a brief overview of North America and early explorations.


Our slideshows provide a list of fun activities to do to learn more about Christopher Columbus. Students will better understand this explorer with the help of crafts, writing, and much more!

Columbus Day Printables

Increase students' knowledge of history and their writing skills with these fun printable activities! Each activity takes students on an adventure with Christopher Columbus as he voyages to North America.

Explorer Quizzes

Test your students' knowledge of voyages and famous explorers other than Christopher Columbus with our ready-to-print quizzes.

Digital Books on Explorers

Expand your lesson with these digital books about explorers, including what they ate, navigation techniques and much more!

References for Columbus Day

Use our references for a detailed list of Columbus' journey, the history of Columbus Day, and various myths about explorers.

Columbus Day History Lessons

Discuss the controversy behind Columbus' "discovery" of America and map out his expedition with the help of our history lessons.

Columbus Day Language Arts Activities

Enhance student's comprehension of texts relating to Columbus with our Language Arts Activities.

Math Activities for Columbus Day

Help students understand dimensions with this fun math activity relating to Columbus Day!

Geography Activities for Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a great way to teach students about geography! Use Columbus' voyage to help students understand where things are located on the map.

Explorers Resources for Columbus Day

Our Explorers Resources offer you worksheets, activities and slideshows about Christopher Columbus and other explorers.

Recommended Columbus Day Resources

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