A Matter of Perspective: Columbus in the New World

This lesson challenges students to reexamine their knowledge of Christopher Columbus by analyzing and comparing primary and secondary sources as well as their own prior knowledge. Additionally, students will learn to approach sources critically to detect bias.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.1
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
SPI 0701.5.8
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
TSS.ELA.7.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; cite several pieces of textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.7.RI.KID.2
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary.
TSS.ELA.7.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; cite several pieces of textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.7.RL.KID.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary.
 
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Learning objectives: 
  • The learner will identify differences between primary and secondary source accounts of Columbus’ landing in the New World.
  • The learner will analyze a visual secondary source to identify examples of bias.
Essential and guiding questions: 

Columbus has been portrayed as a hero and a villain. How do we sort out the facts from the fiction to find out what really happened?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 

Encourage students to examine other depictions of Columbus in old history textbooks, at museums, or among the primary sources on the Library of Congress Web site (http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/080_columbus.html).