European Discovery and Exploration of North America
Why Do We Remember Columbus?
Columbus Day celebrations became popular in Italian-American communities in 1892, the 400th anniversary of Columbus's landing in the Bahamas Islands. It became an official national holiday in 1934, and was a day of speeches and parades celebrating patriotism and history. Over the years, people simplified the story for children, saying Columbus knew the world was round when everyone else thought it was flat.
In 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage, some Native American groups began staging protest marches and speeches at the same time as Columbus Day celebrations. Columbus Day and the Columbus story mean different things to different people. Everyone agrees that it was a day that changed everything that came afterwards.
History Mystery: Vikings in North America BEFORE Columbus
THE MYSTERY MAP
This is the Vinland map, discovered in a 15th-century collection of old maps in Italy in 1957. It may be the oldest map of North America, or it may have been drawn anytime before 1957 and put into the collection as a hoax (an idea or artifact known to be false or fake but presented as real to trick other people). Christopher Columbus may have been aware of it before his voyage, and may have given him the confidence to keep sailing west after his first estimate about land was wrong. Click on the map for a closer look. Do you see Iceland, Greenland, and Canada?
Poetry Mystery: The Greenlanders Saga
The Saga of the Greenlanders
"That summer Eric sailed away to colonize the country he had found. He called it Greenland, because as he put it people would be more anxious to go there if it had an attractive name. He told people that it was admirably suited for settling, and that it was richly endowed with nature's gifts: there was a great plenty of game including seals, whales, walruses, bears, and other animals. In this way he tried to persuade people to settle in the new country."
Read about it:
Read the English Translation: http://www.archive.org/stream/voyagestovinland013593mbp/voyagestovinland013593mbp_djvu.txt
The Curious Bumps: Archaeology
In 1960, Norwegian archaeologists Helge and Anne Ingstad made friends with Canadian George Decker, who showed them a series of curious bumps around the edges of an open field by the shore in Newfoundland. In eight years of digging, they found artifacts that provided evidence they could hold in their hands of the Viking link to North America.
Read about it: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/nl/meadows/natcul/decouverte_discovery.aspx
And what did they totally NOT find at the archaeological dig? Horned Helmets! Check out the video below.
Set Sail on the Viking Trail!
Live the Life! Go on a Viking voyage with the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Click on all the pictures! Watch all the videos! And remember: ALWAYS pillage before you burn! http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/start.html
Map and Reading Comprehension
Quia Reading Checkup
QUIA activity to go with the reading: http://www.quia.com/quiz/2007849.html
Username: Your 8-digit student number plus the tag q525
Password: Your birthday in 6 digits
When you have looked at the websites, maps, poems, Quia reading comprehension, and short, funny videos about helmets, head on over to Edmodo to complete the Viking assignment there:
Archaeology Game: Dig it Up!
Maps Before Columbus
History Mysteries: Explorer
A T-O Map