We don’t have off either, and I’m looking for teaching ideas.
I boycott Columbus day in school. If I taught older grades, I’d teach the facts — not just the “story.”
I’m going to do a version of a lesson I’ve done a few times…
We’re working on Author’s Viewpoint, so I’m going to read the kiddos a traditional Yay Columbus!-style biography and have them talk/write about the author’s opinion of Columbus. Then I’m going to read them “Encounter” by Jane Yolen (GREAT BOOK!) and have a similar discussion (the book is written from the pov of a Taino child, so it tells a much different story).
I’m then going to discuss the fact that Columbus Day as a holiday is controversial for xyz reasons. I’m going to ask them, “Do you think we should celebrate Columbus Day? Why or why not?” and have them move to a side of the room to show their position. Depending on time, they will then write about their position.
I don’t know if that counts as “fun,” but students always get very animated, and I love watching kids question something they have always passively accepted.
I love this idea too! Great discussion!