Columbus and the Native Americans.

In table groups, discuss the following questions:

  • What do you know about Christopher Columbus? What is your opinion of him?
  • What do you know about Native Americans, also called Indians
  • How did you learn about those things?
  • How do we know that the History we have learned is true?
  • Do Historians have an opinion about the topics they cover? Can they be biased?

Reading 1: Kennedy et al:

As you read, consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this text? Why was it written?
  • What is the author’s perspective in the text? What is the main message?
  • Highlight words or passage who seem to demonstrate a bias, or that could lead the reader to gain a certain opinion on the subject.

Now that we’ve read about the Indians and Columbus:

  • What would you say about them based on your reading?
  • What themes did the readings focus on?
  • If there is a bias, where does it come from and how is it manifested?
  • What information was not included in the text? Why do you think they historians chose to omit it?
  • How is our perception of History shaped by historians?

Reading 2: Zinn

As you read, consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this text? Why was it written?
  • What is the author’s perspective in the text? What is the main message?
  • Highlight words or passage who seem to demonstrate a bias, or that could lead the reader to gain a certain opinion on the subject.

Now that we’ve read a different perspective, discuss the following questions:

  • Has your perspective of Columbus and Native Americans changed after reading this text?
  • If there is a bias, where does it come from and how is it manifested?
  • What information was not included in the text? Why do you think Zinn chose to omit it?
  • What themes did the readings focus on? How do they differ from the Kennedy, David et al reading?
  • How is our perception of History shaped by historians?
  • Are certain types of sources less biased?

Exercise 1:

In groups of 2, you will write a one paragraph description of Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas and Native Americans, with a clear bias for or against him.

  • Use words that will emphasize your opinion
  • Include/omit the information that will best serve your purpose
  • Do not make up facts!

Part 2: Watch the simple animated video history,

Columbus on trial

Discussion: 

  • How can you read history and be aware of biases?
  • If you were to write about Columbus, what themes would you focus on, knowing that you cannot write everything about everything?
  • What themes would you not include?
  • How to analyze sources
  • Primary and secondary sources

 

Assessment:

In groups of 2, you will now work on your

social history assessment

Write your team members and the specific members or group you will research here