Arts ESU2
Visual Arts, U.S. History, Social Science
Material Type:
Upper Primary
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Indigenous
  • MTA
  • NE Art
  • NE SS
  • NE Visual Arts
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • christopher-columbus
  • indigenous
  • ne-art
  • ne-ss
  • ne-visual-arts
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

    Education Standards

    Christopher Columbus/Indigenous People

    Christopher Columbus/Indigenous People


    This resource was created by Kim Francis in collaboration with Lynn Bowder as part of ESU2's Mastering the Arts project. This project is a four year initiative focused on integrating arts into the core curriculum through teacher education and experiential learning. 

    MTA logo Christopher Columbus/Indigenous People

    Lesson Title: Christopher Columbus/Indigenous People

    Grade Level: 5th

    Core Subject Area: Social Studies

    Author: Kim Francis (Emerson-Hubbard Elem.)

    Fine Arts Subject Area: Visual Arts

    Standards Alignment

    Content Area Standard(s): S.S 5.4.2.a, 5.4.4.e, 5.4.5.a, d, 5.4.3.a, 5.4.1.bFine Arts Standard(s): FA  5.2.4.b: Compare and contrast works of art from a variety of contemporary, historical and cultural context. FA 5.2.1.d: Use observation, imagination and interpretation in creating artworks that reflect a variety of styles, themes, and subjects.
    Core Subject Vocabulary: exploration, voyage, indigenous, expeditionFine Arts Vocabulary: Line, shape, color, stylize, ancient, contemporary

    Core Subject Learning Objectives: 1Students will demonstrate an understanding of Columbus’ role in American history, as well as, the recent controversy surrounding Columbus Day.

    2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the indigenous people and Indigenous Day.

    Fine Arts Learning Objectives:Students will:
    1. Students will identify areas of the United States inhabited by the Plains, Southwestern, and Northwest Coastal Indigenous peoples.
    2. Identify and compare and contrast indigenous peoples symbol/styles from the Plains, Southwestern, and Northwest Coastal tribes.
    3. Create a personal symbol.


    Art Materials: Drawing paper or paper sacks (imitation hide), Pencils, Colored Pencils, Markers

     Lesson -Teaching Sequence

    • What do we already know about Columbus?
    • Who was Christopher Columbus?
    • Why is he famous? (Discuss vocabulary words)
    • Explore various illustrations of Columbus through the centuries.
    • When and where did Columbus live?
    • Examine a world map and discuss Columbus’ voyages. (Christopher Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic Ocean searching for a new sea route to the spices in India. He never made it to Asia, but instead discovered a “New World” to Europeans.)
    • Columbus through the eyes of the indigenous people (Plains, Southwestern and Northwest Coastal Native Americans)
    • What was life like for the Native Americans in 1492?
    • Explore Native American symbols and design- How they differ in different parts of the United States
    • Art Activity:- Students will:

    1. List three of their best qualities, i.e., Strong, Smart, Creative

    2.  Choose a living thing that may represent those qualities, i.e., bumble bee,  sunflower, mountain 

    3.  Sketch that on scratch paper and stylize the drawn object by simplifying it. By using line and simple recognizable shapes or creating it with geometric shapes.

    4. Draw their final symbols to fill 75% of the page, on a piece of white drawing. Paper or brown butcher paper/paper bag (representing hide that the Plains peoples would have used.)

    5. Then, add 4 colors to their designs

    Day 2:

    • Students will research and gather information regarding Christopher Columbus and his life.

    bird 1bird2

    Assessment and Reflection

    Content Assessment: Students will create an interactive timeline to map the life of Christopher Columbus.

    Arts Assessment:

    • Diagnostic- Stand up
    • Formative- Five Fingers
    • Summative-Tribal/design geographic location- Matching Rubric- symbol

    Student Reaction (Engagement):



    Teacher Reflection:



    SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT- RUBRIC     For Indigenous Peoples Symbol Design
     Exemplary   4Accomplished3Developing2Beginning1
    Personal Symbol-self-reflective and representational Symbol created visually represents strong evidence of personal reflection and  list of self-determined qualitiesSymbol created visually represents  evidence of personal reflection and  list of self-determined qualitiesSymbol created visually represents little evidence of personal reflection and  list of self-determined qualitiesSymbol created visually represents no evidence of personal reflection and  list of self-determined qualities
    ColorFour colors were used in the designThree colors were used in the designTwo colors were used in the designOne color was used in the design
    CompositionDesign filled 75% of the pageDesign filled only 50% of the pageDesign filled 25% of the pageDesign filled less than 25% of the page
    EffortWorked bell to bell as expected. 100% in class work time usedWorked appropriately but sometimes distracted  85% in-class work time usedWorked on and off.  75%  in-class effort.  No outside worktimeMinimal effort.
    CraftsmanshipWork is clean and neat.  No smudges or messy uneven lines, or color outside of shapesProject evident1-3 smudgesSlight bit of color present outside of linesProject Evident4 or more smudgesSeveral areas of color outside of linesProject EvidentSmudges, messy lines, scribbled color completely outside of designated areasProject not evident