How I Taught Columbus This Year

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This year, I decided to focus more on point of view/author's purpose when talking about Columbus. Our reading series spends a lot of time on these skills, and I thought that it would be natural to incorporate the skills into this particular topic. It seems to me that Columbus and Columbus Day has become more controversial in the past few years, so the whole goal of this was to make the students decide... Is Columbus a hero or villain?

First we read about what our old textbooks said about him. We came up with the following list about what we read and inferred from the text.


Then we watched a video about Columbus that was part of the "Animated Hero Classics".


After that, we watched another video based off of the book by Jean Fritz (can you tell that we were near Thanksgiving break?!)

We did a few more resources, including Encounter by Jane Yolen. We did some figurative language and inferring activities with that book.

Finally, I had them write an opinion piece about whether they thought Columbus was a hero or villain with three supporting ideas and two details about each supporting idea. Many students went the villain route, but there were a few that made compelling hero arguments.

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1 comment

  1. What a great idea to incorporate Columbus with Author's Purpose, Point of View, and Opinion Writing!
    ~Deb
    Crafting Connections

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