We enjoyed the d'Aulaire selection and the reader, Christopher Columbus, but had to do some picture study or just summarizing with the Maestro book that WP included. The pictures are absolutely fabulous in Discovery of the Americas, but the text is a bit daunting for our 1st and 2nd graders. :)
I found and made many printables for Columbus to help the girls understand it all more and to let them manipulate lapbooking components in our notebooks. Here are some pictures. I've indicated where I found them or if I made them below each pic. Let me know if you want a PDF.
The drawing is our 7yo's from Draw Write Now Book 2. The map I made, and when you close the flap, it covers the Americas, showing how the people of Columbus' time thought the world looked, minus the Americas.
I found this free printable from Evan Moor's site, the Santa Maria!
I love how this turned out! Via an idea from the WP forums, we tried our 3D maps with watercolors. Turned out nice, right? ;)
I made these printables. I like to make them easily readable for the girls. One is who funded Columbus's journey, another is a barrel filled with what the sailors normally ate while aboard ship, and the last is a painting of Columbus's 3 ships with space inside to write their names (Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria).
I made this too. The pictures actually go in the treasure chest tri-fold lapbooking component. He brought back gold, exotic plants, slaves, parrots (exotic animals) to Spain.
I found a few web sites that the girls enjoyed. Here are some links!
Columbus games - Scroll down to some puzzles and quizzes. Fun!
Columbus audio reading - This was mildly interesting, but I thought I'd include it, as it's neat.