Americans celebrate Columbus Day on the second Monday of October. This festival commemorates the discovery of America in October 12, 1492 by Christopher Columbus. [ES1]
He was born in Genoa, Italy. His ambition was to travel by sea to reach the East Indies finding a better route to Asia. In fact during his life time Europe was very fond of spices and goods that could only been found in Asia.
Columbus realized his ambition by asking aid to the Royals of Spain, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella [E1] [ES1] [F1] [I1] [I2] . They were very interested in Columbus’ idea so they decided to help him and gave him three ships: the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta [E1] [ES1] [F1] [I1] .
On August 3rd 1492, Columbus and his sailors left Palos [E1] [ES1] [F1] [I1] , on the cost of Spain.
The voyage was long and difficult, but on October 12th, 1492 Columbus reached what he thought was the East Indies. However, he soon learned that he found something different – an area of the world that nobody knew existed that became quickly known as the New World. He became the first European who reached the area that is now known as America.
After his great discovery, people from other countries also went to the new world. Spain, Portugal and Great Britain established colonies. They found many new foods, plants and animals in the New World [E1] [ES1] [ES2] [F1] [I1] .
Early American settlers had been celebrating Columbus Day for decades before it became a national holiday. Today most Americans celebrate Columbus Day with colourful parades which the most famous takes place in New York City.
Class activity to test comprehension:
Are these sentences True or False?
1. People in United States and Great Britain celebrate Columbus Day.
2. Christopher Columbus was from Genoa.
3. He wanted to sail to reach East Indies.
4. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand didn’t help him.
5. Nowadays nobody celebrate Columbus Day.
Discuss with students:
Columbus was a great navigator. What job do you want to do? Explain your reasons to your school friends.
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