I also thought I'd show a video. Here are a few I found on You tube:
Christopher Columbus finds the New World
Cartoon Classics - Christopher Columbus
History of the Holiday - Columbus Day
In 1492, A Christopher Columbus Song
They give a bit of kid-friendly information. The cartoon is a little corny, and dated, but cute.
I also thought I might add a little of what I've learned about the brain. I might just have them act out the Voyage of Columbus. I'd put some children on each ship, and we'd set sail. Naturally, the seas will get a little rough. I hope none of them get seasick! Kids do pay attention when they hear what the sailors had to eat for those 90 days. And boy, do they pay attention when they realize the sailors went that long without showers or flushing toilets!
I typically teach the basics of Columbus' impact on history and exploration, but I don't tell much about the controversy of how he treated the natives. I think this book gives a nice introduction to this controversy, but not to much for the little ones. But it definitely gets them thinking! Click the image for a link to Amazon.
How are you celebrating Christopher Columbus and our day off?