Here are 10 Columbus Day writing prompts you can use to ring in the holiday with your classroom or your own personal journal. If you enjoyed these prompts, buy the entire collection of 1,000 Writing Prompts for Holidays on Amazon.
Before Columbus Day was official, celebrations were held on the 300th and 400th
anniversaries of Columbus's voyages, in 1792 and 1892. What are some things in
your lifetime you might celebrate the several-hundredth anniversary? How do
people remember an event from so long ago?
102. This holiday has been used as a day to support nationalism, war, and loyalty to
the United States, even though Columbus came to the Americas long before the
country was founded. Do you think Columbus thought that multiple countries
would be created in the area he landed? Why or why not?
103. The Columbus celebration was first celebrated as a state holiday in 1906 in Colorado,
though it was more like a St. Patrick's Day for Italian-Americans since
Columbus was Italian. How do you think the holiday would be different today if
it celebrated Italian heritage as opposed to the discovery of the Americas?
Some initial attempts to make the holiday more national were opposed by
businesses that didn't want to interrupt the busy fall season with another
holiday. If you could have more holidays or fewer holidays, which would you
choose and why?
One of the oldest continuous celebrations for the Columbus celebration takes place in San
Francisco, which began celebrating in 1868. Imagine what it might have been
like to be there for the first ceremony. How might it be different from the way
the holiday is celebrated today?
Several cities and counties have replaced the holiday with one
called Indigenous People's Day. What do you think this name change means? Do
you think the change will catch on over time or that people will always
celebrate the Columbus holiday? Why?
In the last century or so, some opposition to the holiday has arisen because
it seems that Columbus may not have been a very nice guy. Create a conversation
between Columbus and one of the first natives he encountered on Hispaniola.
Does Columbus seem friendly in the conversation or like more of a schemer?
Many natives grew sick after the arrival of Columbus and other Europeans
because they didn't have immunity to European diseases. How different do you
think doctors and healthcare were in 1492? What might natives and Europeans
have used to try to heal themselves before hospitals and vaccines?
Multiple Native American organizations are not interested in celebrating a
holiday like this one. Why do you think that is? Do you think it's
important to hear both sides of a story? Why or why not?
There are multiple aspects of the Columbus Day holiday that don't seem worth
celebrating, like slavery, disease, and a hostile takeover. What do you think
should be celebrated about Columbus Day and why?
Did you enjoy these holiday writing prompts? Buy a book full of holiday writing prompts today!
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.