Christopher Columbus, his Time and his Plans

In the Americas Season 10 Lesson Episode 9Columbus spent nearly a decade in Spain lobbying for his trip. More than anywhere else, he remained in Huelva, a port on Spain’s southwestern coast. With him on his voyages he brought the heritage of his surroundings and their many assumptions. His quest shaped his mission and the sailors he chose were of critical importance to the success or failure of his mission. Understanding them and their times helps clarify the influence and destruction they would heap on the Americas.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about how Columbus planned, executed, and received support for his voyage.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places, & Environments A, G

Discussion Prompts

  • Discuss if the Americans discovered the Europeans or if the Europeans discovered the Americans. Was the arrival of Christopher Columbus a discovery or an invasion? Who benefited the most? Explain your positionality.
  • The host talked about Columbus claiming a prize that apparently was not his. What were the reason/s Columbus kept the prize to himself? Would he be able to claim and receive the prize today? Why or why not?
  • Discuss some of the facts that you learned about this voyage that changed America and might not be recounted in the history books.
  • What are some of the reasons that Huelva no longer sees Columbus as an international hero? Why did they shift the importance of the voyage? Do you agree or disagree with the shift in perspective?

Lesson Activities

  • Create at least one small Fresco painting of the natives explaining what happened up to the time of the arrival of Columbus, contrasting it with the paintings found in the monastery.
  • Create a journal blog about the technical works that were distributed among the people in the caravels. Include the expertise of the people and what implications can you make about their work? Create a journal blog about it.
  • During Columbus’ time, Fandango, a type of flamenco music, already existed. What type of songs today talk about similar topics? Select at least two different genres to compare and create a digital compilation to share your findings.
  • Estimate the distance between the places Columbus wanted to go, where he went, and where he thought he went. Calculate scale, distinguishing other geographic relationships by interpreting and analyzing his journey using a journal format, as if you were him.


  • caravel
  • contemplation
  • discovery
  • engraved
  • expedition
  • Fresco
  • invasion
  • monastery
  • shield
  • sophisticated


In the Americas Season 10 Lesson Episode 9