We conducted research as a class, answering the questions we all wanted to ask about Christopher Columbus. Some children asked, “Was he nice?” We realised you can’t just look up the answers to questions like that. We looked at all the information we had about him and tried to decide for ourselves. Some children felt that taking Native Americans back to Spain without their permission was not a nice thing to do. Other children said that going back to try to save his crew when the ships were caught in a storm was a nice thing to do. Overall we felt it was tricky to say if someone was nice or mean because sometimes nice people do mean things and mean people sometimes do nice things. We thought how you felt about Christopher Columbus would probably depend on who you were - the Native Americans probably didn’t like him much but the Spanish probably did!
We were interested in why Christopher Columbus was looking for China and India. He wanted to trade with them but he was also interested in these countries for another reason. He has been inspired to go there because of a book by another famous explorer. We found out one of the most famous people to travel to India and China was Marco Polo. He spent much of his life in India and China. We anted yo know what it would have been like in India for Marco Polo. Would it have been like it is here in England? We thought about types of things which make countries similar or different. We have already spent a lot of time looking at geographical features and man-made features. We have also looked at the differences the location of a country can make, for example its nearness to the equator or the poles. The children thought about the weather and how seasonal changes can be different in different parts of the world. We watched some weather forecasts and decided we would like to measure how much rain falls over a week in England. To conduct this science experiment we would need a rain gauge. We began by making a scale. We used a ruler to ensure we could accurately measure in cm.