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Columbus Day from Two Perspectives


Language Arts, Social Studies  


4, 5, 6  


Title – Columbus Day–Two Perspectives
By – Tammy Richardson
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts
Grade Level – 4-6
Lesson Plan Title: Columbus Day

Concept / Topic To Teach: Perspective, Native American vs. Euro-centric

Standards Addressed: Critical Thinking, American History

General Goal(s): Have the student understand there is often more than one perspective of an historical event.

Specific Objectives: Students will understand both European and Native American perspective of the European colonization of America.

Required Materials: ” Encounter” by Jane Yolen, illustrated by David Shannon, an American textbook that has information about Columbus discovering the New World or another picture book with a Euro-centric view of Columbus, and a book of optical illusions (with a picture that has two images based on how you look at it).

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In): Show a small portion of the class the optical illusion from one view. Show the rest of the class the optical illusion from the other view. Ask the class what they saw and point out the discrepancy between the two groups. Explain perspective.

Step-By-Step Procedures: Read aloud from the textbook or other picture book about Columbus discovering America. Read aloud “Encounter” by Jane Yolen, and point out the characterization of Columbus and the welcome he received from the Taino, the indigenous people who greeted Columbus to the New World . Discuss the differences in the two texts and the perspective of each. Read aloud the author’s note in Yolen’s “Encounter.” Discuss the impact of Columbus’ “discovery” of America on the Taino and on Europeans.

Plan for Independent Practice: Have children read other books about Columbus, Native Americans and colonization of America.

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set): Have the students respond to the two perspectives by writing, drawing pictures, or some other means.

Assessment Based On Objectives: Response (i.e. writing, drawing or otherwise) should represent the two perspectives.

E-Mail: Tammy Richardson

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