American History Campus
Current Classes & Activities
Columbus - Questions for Writing Class
What did Columbus hope to discover
on his first voyage? Did he succeed? Was he successful? (What is success?)
Why or why not .
Answer the following on a separate
sheet of paper:
Why did Columbus have so much trouble
finding someone who would help pay for his voyage? How did most people
react to his plans? Why do you think Isabella and Ferdinand finally
agreed to sponsor him?
During Columbus' day, many people
still believed that the earth was flat. Some sailors thought that if
they sailed too far from shore they would literally sail off the edge
of the world. Yet Columbus found 120 men willing to make that first
voyage with him. Why do you think these men were willing to take such
a risk? Why do you think Columbus wanted to sail into the unknown?
If you had lived during Columbus'
day, would you have wanted to make that first voyage with him? Why or
Columbus and his men spent more
than a month traveling unknown seas before they finally reached land.
What thoughts might have gone through their minds during the journey?
What fears might they have encountered? How do you think they felt when
they finally saw land?
Columbus has been credited with
the discovery of the New World. How might history have differed if he
hadn't made this discovery? (Would history have been any different?
Do you think it was just a matter of time until some discovered America,
or could the continent have gone undiscovered for centuries longer?)
Do you think the discovery and eventual
settlement of North and South America were primarily good or primarily
Columbus dreamed of sailing west
to reach the east. What dreams do you have?
Columbus spent years trying to achieve
his dreams? What are you doing to help you achieve your dreams? What
else could you be doing?
Today some people refuse to celebrate
Columbus Day because of the injustices European settlers inflicted on
indigenous peoples. Do you think the holiday should be celebrated? Why
or why not?