Who Was Christopher Columbus?
Offers insight into the historical events that prompted Columbus' efforts to establish new trade routes to the Indies, his struggles to obtain financial support for his voyages, and the important discoveries that caused him to become known as the "Great Admiral of the Seas."
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The author of this biography, Bonnie Bader, is a publisher, editor-in-chief, and author. She has written several Who Was...? biographies. (This annotation contains an image)
Who Was Christopher Columbus?
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
Why does Christopher think he is a hero?
An Explorer Is Born
Here is a map showing Christopher's home city. (This annotation contains an image)
When reading you will be asked to compare and contrast two stories, characters, or events. Below is a video explaining how to do this. (This annotation contains a video)
Compare the painting above to the description given on this page of Christopher Columbus.
Here is one artist's interpretation of Christopher Columbus' appearance. (This annotation contains an image)
Mapping the World
The map on this page shows the view of the world in the 1400s. Which continents are missing from this map?
Did you notice how the font changed when Bonnie Bader wrote Marco Polo's story? She did this so you would see that his story was told in a sidebar. A sidebar is a feature in non-fiction texts. It gives you more information about a topic mentioned in the main story. If you want to learn even more about Marco Polo, you can visit this site. (This annotation contains a link)
What is the main reason Columbus starts reading books?
Waiting and More Waiting
When answering questions, sometimes you have to prove your answer. You do this by finding textual evidence. This video explains how to use this technique. (This annotation contains a video)
Use the Define feature and read the definition for peasant. Where would a peasant girl live?
Columbus did have to wait many years for the queen to have enough money, but the queen is giving him the money. Do you think Columbus was right in making demands? Good readers ask questions as they read. This helps you understand the story and predict what will happen next. Do you think the queen will give in to Columbus' demands? Read on to find out.
Quiz for Section 1
On the Ocean Sea
What inference can you make about the town of Palos?
Columbus's crew is comprised of a variety of men from across many different areas of life. On the site below there is a list of the men who were on the boat. Next to the men's names are some of their jobs on the ships. (This annotation contains a link)
If the people of Palos were writing this story, how would the description of Columbus' farewell have changed?
The mood on the ship is positive. This is important at the beginning of a journey. This crew of men are stuck together in the middle of the ocean. They do not have a place to get away, so it is important that the mood stays upbeat.
Why is the mood getting worse on the ships?
When reading you will be asked to write a summary of a chapter or of a whole book. This video explains how to write a summary for fiction and non-fiction stories. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Columbus not at the Indies?
Write a summary of this chapter, Land Ho!
Here is a map of Columbus' first voyage. (This annotation contains an image)
Why does Columbus place a barrel in the sea?
All of Columbus' doubters are very impressed that he accomplishes his goal. What no one realizes, though, is that he has actually discovered new land and not a new route to the Indies.
Quiz for Section 2
On the Sea Again
Why do the priests want to convert the natives?
Here is a letter Columbus wrote to Queen Isabella describing his demands for the voyage and his expectations once the ship made landfall. (This annotation contains a link)
How was this voyage different from Columbus' expectations? Cite evidence from this story, as well as Columbus' letter to Queen Isabella in your response.
A Third Try
Why do members of the court call Columbus "Admiral of the Mosquitoes"?
Columbus' first voyage has a positive effect on his ability to acquire a new crew. His second voyage's failure has a negative effect. This reading strategy is called Cause and Effect. Here is a video explaining this strategy a little more. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the cause, or reason, Columbus is sent back to Spain?
Who was the first European to discover America? Columbus is given credit because he was the first to discover the land of America, even if he did not know that is what he found. Vespucci realized it was a new continent, which is why America is named after him. Neither sailor found North America. Leif Eriksson was the first European to set foot on that land, and he did it 500 years before Columbus! Like Columbus, though, he had no idea he found a new land.
One Last Try
Why is Columbus unable to ride out the storm in Hispaniola?
Why are the natives fighting the Europeans? This is their land. First Columbus and his people are trading and the natives are friendly. Then when Columbus starts to settle the land, the natives realize they are planning on staying and taking over the land. The natives do not like this, so they fight.
What lesson did you learn from Christopher Columbus?
Quiz for Section 3