I loved this Christopher Columbus writing assignment because it was a great cross-curricular assignment, we had homeschool history as they researched Christopher Columbus and how he convinced Ferdinand and Isabella. We had homeschool writing as they worked on their persuasive assignment. And then there was the presentation skills they had to use for this project.
Christopher Columbus writing assignment rubric
We took two weeks to explore Christopher Columbus and sailing during the Age of Exploration, so I gave the assignment at the beginning of the unit, and they used all of the information we learned during that time to make an effective argument.
- Did they speak clearly and confidently? Did they look the audience in the eye? Were the visual aids used well?
- Did they back up their presentation with facts? Were the visuals easy to see and were all labels correctly placed?
- Were they able to work independently? Could they present it as their own work and they did not copy from someone else?
Christopher Columbus writing assignment procedure
I left the project fairly wide open for them to have room to put their personalities into the project, which meant each of them had very different ideas of how to do the presentation.
Princess went first, and she gave a very emotional presentation, with several maps as diagrams.
Superman went second. Superman is our LEGO fanatic, and so he had a ship built to show how the voyage would go, and several maps (one of our projects was working on maps and Prince Henry the Navigator).
Batman went last. He was the most excited by this project and it showed. He bought a model ship and built it to show what type of ship he would use. He dressed in his astronaut costume because it was the only uniform he had. He also had best prepared.
Talking about the presentations after
Giving a grade is useless if you don’t give an explanation of why you gave that grade. So at the end we talked through why each person got the grade they got and how each child could improve, which led to a general discussion of why it’s harder to be the first person giving a presentation.
Tomorrow, Columbus has been commissioned, and we need to see just how “big” Columbus’ ships were.