Paths of Exploration Columbus Unit Lesson 2

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Paths of Exploration Columbus Lesson 2



As you know we are using Paths of Exploration by Trail Guide to Learning for our summer all-inclusive curriculum. This article is focused on Paths of Exploration Columbus Unit Lesson 2. If you missed the other posts, click here to see all posts tagged with “Paths of Exploration”. This past week, we studied all of Lesson 2 of Columbus and I’m thrilled to say we were able to do this entire lesson in one day (about 4 hours or so).  They had the rest of the week to do their homework and independent tasks. I am very pleased with the transition of leaving the “busy work” behind and focusing on the curriculum areas that my boys are learning and not just doing review!!  

I’ll cover each Part of Lesson 2 below.  

Section A. Copywork/Dictation.  The copy / dictation for Part 1 was the last stanza of the original poem “A Journey of Adventure”.  For the rest of Lesson 2 they are all coming from the read-aloud sections. 

Sections B and C: Reader and Read-Aloud. Focuses on  “Language Skills and Thinking Skills”. We read a great deal in the read-alouds and are so excited to be making significant progress now.  As always, I had my boys take turns reading aloud from Meet Christopher Columbus and I read Christopher Columbus.   


Meet Christopher Columbus         Christopher Columbus

Dr. Seuss CollectionSection D: Word Study. For Part 1, this section focused on how rhyming words have the same ending sounds. The study recommended reading the original poem “A Journey of Adventure” and finding rhymes, but Dr. Seuss books are more fun!  In Part 2, POE focuses on “ex” and how it is spelled. The spelling words all have “ex” as a prefix. In part 3, they use the same “ex” words and now we are looking at them from a vocabulary perspective. I love that they provide clues and the children have to figure out what word goes with what clue. There are even a couple left off for our children to create their own clues to match up. The meaning of “longed” is presented and POE then asks questions and suggests using this word as a creative writing prompt for the children to write a few sentences about something they have longed for. In Part 4, the students read about the word “finally” and are encouraged to use it with the earlier creative writing prompt from Part 3 to create a paragraph about something they have longed for.  

Geography. (Note:  Not every Part of each lesson has Geography as “Section E”. In Part 3 of this Lesson it is Section F, so I’m going to stop labeling the Section A, B, C, etc. Instead I’m going to start labeling the sections just by title.) Focusing on “History, Thinking Skills and Art”. POE loves their maps… in Part 1, they are drawing a neighborhood map. One thing I love about POE is that the student workbook that you print has all the notebooking pages already set up where the children go and record their work. Love that! Part 2 does not have Geography. Part 3 does “geography” … but it is not geography…. it is a discussion about worldview!  I love that this topic is in the book… but I would not have put it in geography. Oh well. The focus is on how Christopher Columbus’ worldview was developed. GREAT discussion topic with our children. Part 4 is all about oceans. There are a bunch of hands-on activities I would add to study oceans.  Here are just a few ideas! They have a fabulous World Ocean matching cards. Has a FABULOUS Ocean study for lower / upper elementary students.  I love the “Appreciating Oceans’ Importance to Life on Earth” section!  

Felt Water CycleIf you have not already introduced the water cycle, this would be a great place to do so!  I did a post on creative ways to teach about weather and the water cycle here.  I love the idea of having our children create a felt water cycle. 



Speaking / Presentation Skills Section:   This is a new section in Part 1 and it is focusing on “Language Skills and Thinking Skills”. It is essentially training and practice for reciting or memorizing the original poem “A Journey of Adventure”.  Two of my boys will by using it for reciting.  Gage, my 12 year old wrote a poem that I will discuss in more detail in the Enrichment Activities Section below. But for now, I’ll just mention that Gage will be reciting his own poem.  This section went into detail about how to present the poem… good information!  

History Section:   This is another new section it is found in Part 2 and is focusing on “Thinking Skills”. In this section, we discussed what qualities it takes to be an explorer. The POE text asks questions that prompt discussion but there is also a place to record their answers in their student notebooks.  

Five Senses ActivitiesScience Section:   In Part 3, the science section focused on “Thinking Skills and Art”. This section focused on our senses. It is exploring our senses through spices. We created a fabulous Name that Spice game in Lesson 1. If you haven’t already created this game, now would be a great time to do so!  The exploration of our senses is one of the most fun studies you can do with younger students.  If you haven’t already started exploring your senses and really focusing on what information each provides us daily, now is a great time to introduce those lessons. This is a great roundup to start with!

Drawing Section:  This is another new section that was introduced in Part 2 and is focusing on “Science and Art”. This section reminds me of a Charlotte Mason style approach to nature observation. This section focused heavily on methodical observation and quiet and drawing what you saw. Loved how this drawing section was wrapped in some great scientific method and structure. We really enjoyed this section. If your children love it too… you might consider getting them a nature journal or sketch book. My children took Art 1 (charcoal pencil drawing) last year in our homeschool co-op. But whatever you do, I highly encourage you to help them develop this skill! 

Independent Reading:  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we modified this reading section a bit so the boys will focus their reading on anything about Christopher Columbus for 30 minutes a day. This is working out well. I wrote a post to share what our library resources we have, you can find it here.

Part 5 of Lesson 2 is again all about catch up for the previous four parts, but also it has the Enrichment activities here.  THIS is where we really try to bring the entire lesson to a meaningful wrap-up. POE has some suggestions here such as:

Profiles in History Volume 1On the large outline map, label Portugal, Spain and the five oceans.  

Complete the Word Scramble located in your Student Notebook (which my boys loved). 

Read Marco Polo in Profiles from History.  There are many timeline activities that go with the study. If you have the time, I think it is so valuable for our children to be able to see characters and events on a timeline.  

These are the official Enrichment Activities:

1.  Look for poetry about maps, travel or specific countries or places. Present the poems to yourCropped Sailing Ships (c.1886-1890) - Constantinos Volanakis family by memorizing them or just reading them aloud. You can also illustrate the poetry with drawings or photos. Instead of finding a poem someone else wrote, I assigned my 12 year old son, Gage, the project of writing a poem for this enrichment activity. He did a beautiful job!!   You can find his poem, The Ship’s Journey here.  

I know I have mentioned that we studied IEW this past school year and how much I love this curriculum!   And just as an FYI, I am not affiliated with IEW in anyway nor do I receive compensation from them or free curriculum (Although I would LOVE to change that)!  🙂 I just love their curriculum! You can see my review I wrote about our IEW experience here.

2.  Read about the country of Portugal. Tell others what you have learned. Take what you know about Spain and compare it to what you have learned about Portugal. I assigned my 13 year old son this activity.  He did a Venn Diagram of the similarities and differences of these two countries.  This is a great way to introduce the use of compare and contrast into your homeschool.  

3.  Have you ever been on a boat or a ship?  Draw a picture or write about the boat or ship that you were on.  You could also make up a story about a boat or ship you would like to go on.  Make sure you include what makes travel on the water different from other ways to travel.  I assigned this project to my 9 year old son. We actually did do some sailing a couple of years ago on an extended trip to the coast of NC.  Here is another opportunity to compare and contrast (modes of travel).  Blake wrote a 5 paragraph IEW essay about our sailing trip and it includes pictures from our trip. You can read it here!     

Eat Your Way around the WorldFinally we are wrapping up this lesson with our Eat Your Way Around the World Cooking exercise. We cooked all the recipes from Spain which included: Gazpacho, Torrijes (bread pudding) and Paella!  Gazpacho is Cold soup?  I was keeping an open mind, and since we encourage being food pioneers in our home, I had to model the food pioneer behavior… But I have to tell you that was not anything I’ll be eating again. None of the recipes from Spain wowed me.  This is the first set of recipes that I haven’t liked but Spain is not the country I’ll be heading to first if I ever am able to actually travel around the world!  

I hope these summaries and activities that I add to our curriculum are a blessing to you and your family.  All I ask is that you share my blog and the posts if you enjoy and appreciate them! And, as always, leave me a message letting me know how you are using POE and what you are doing to augment the curriculum to fit your own homeschool!  I look forward to reading your ideas and comments!  

Until next time…


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Trish Corlew

Founder and Author at Live and Learn Farm
Trish has been married to her best friend, David, for 16 years and they have three sons (aged 13, 12 and 9). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. They also own a small business that Trish runs from home. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!


  1. Kandace says:

    We are about to start our second year of trying to make POE work for us. We did the first section last year and dropped it. I was too “lazy” to find enough enrichment like you have to make it really fit my kids’ needs. Your blog is a wealth of information and is really getting me inspired. My creative juices are FLOWING!! Thank you SO much for taking the time to link and write down all of this. Seriously, thank you.

    • Kandace, THANK YOU for the encouragement! You know personally how challenging this can be. So just a tiny bit of encouragement goes a long way 🙂 Share some of your creative ideas once you get up and running!! There are so many ways to add activities to POE that I’m sure I would get some ideas from you too! Thank you so much for dropping me a note! I look forward to getting to know you! ~Trish

  2. I kind of thought the same thing about Spain… until we went there 2 years ago. Talk about an awe- inspiring, historical place that is so much less touristy! (once you get outside the big cities). My favorite place we visitied was Segovia. In case you ever get to travel, and maybe change your mind. 🙂 But the food… I have to agree. It wasn’t our favorite part of travelling there. Italy on the other hand- wow the food! But so touristy too. So it’s such a toss up on what is more valuable. Anyways, thank you for your reviews of this curriculum. We are just starting POE (2nd, 4th & 5th graders). I’m liking it already, only in our first week, but it’s nice to hear how others use the curriculum.

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