Planning a Trip For Christopher Columbus

Monica Cossio
Bonham Elementary
Bilingual First Grade

Topic: Planning a trip for Christopher Columbus

Purpose: To use three different math skills (sorting, graphing, measuring)
in order to complete a social studies project.

Materials:pencils,erasers, map pencils, graph paper,markers, butcher paper,clay, glue, popsicle sticks, paper and toothpicks

Prior knowledge: Discovery of The Americas. Basic information about Christopher Colombus and his discovery.

Description:The students will construct a ship for Columbus for a trip that will take 30 days. They can use popsicle sticks, paper, pencils, map pencils, markers, glue and clay only. Before they begin building their ship they need to draw a model of their ship showing the different compartments where they will store animals and food, cook , eat, etc.They will design a model of the ship using information about what things will be needed to be carried aboard for their survival.They will then present the model of the ship they designed and built as well as graphs showing the quantity of the products they will need to take on this 30 day trip. The ship can only measure 6inches wide and 12 inches long.


  • Separate the class in groups of 4 to 5 students.
  • Students will work cooperatively to come up with up to 10 different kinds of supplies needed to make a one month trip with 50 passengers.
  • Students will draw a model of a ship with enough compartments to store the supplies,and the 50 passengers.
  • After approval from teacher, students will begin using popsicle sticks, clay and glue to build the ship using (can also use toothpics, straws and paper ) using their drawing for referrence.
  • Students will write a list of how much food and waterpeople will need for survival . They should consider that the animals aboard will also need food .
  • Students will classify the supplies,provide a storage place built into the ship for them, and label each compartment.
Time: The lesson will take one week to complete during math class time.


  • Completed accurate drawing , accurate bargraph of supplies needed , accurate dimensions on constructed ship, oral presentation 4 points.
  • Completed drawing,completed bar graph of the needed supplies, constructed ship, and oral presentation 3 points.
  • Teams that complete two of the four assignments on time 2 points
  • Teams that attempted the assignment receive 1 point.

These pages were developed through GirlTECH, a teacher-training program sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEEE) and with support from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI.
Copyright © Monica Cossio, June, 2001.