Right now in 2016 it’s popular to tell everyone how Christopher Columbus is a terrible man who set out to destroy the natives he encountered. We’re going to save that idea for later in our Christopher Columbus unit, but right now, let’s talk about this mini Christopher Columbus Unit, my kids loved this week of homeschool history.
Side note, only tangentially related to this Christopher Columbus unit.
I was a freshman in high school when we celebrated the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus landing in America. Of course this was treated as a HUGE deal, and it was. This was also when the United States decided we needed another time for government buildings, banks, and students to get a holiday.
Sorry teachers, you’re going to work that day for a teacher in-service. You will spend the day in boring meetings, while everyone talks about you getting all these extra days off. I know it’s not true.
My freshman honors World History teacher (a class I happily took to get out of taking geography, ironic since I now love teaching homeschool geography). She started talking about the atrocities Christopher Columbus committed. They don’t really teach that in elementary school. I was flabbergasted, then she said, “Should we have a national holiday for this man?”
Well, when you’re 14 and you’re thinking about how awesome it is to get another day off of school, the answer is YES! with great big exclamation points.
“All right,” she said, “Now defend your answers. Write me an essay.”
This teacher, more than any other, probably formed the way I teach. I expect my kids, and my Sunday School students to be able to defend their answers.
And it all started with this conversation. So hero, or villain, Christopher Columbus has a soft spot in my heart.
But, that’s all unrelated to the actual series within a series.
The ACTUAL Christopher Columbus Unit
Christopher Columbus Resources– All of the books and movies and what have you I found at my library or am aware of
Christopher Columbus presentation– Can you convince King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to finance your trip (this makes reference to stuff I’ll be posting later this month)?
Christopher Columbus’ ships– Have some fun as you realize just HOW small those ships were
The Columbian Exchange– Test your knowledge what is a New World, and what is an Old World item
High School writing assignment, Christopher Columbus hero or villain?– Because if I had to write this as a freshman in high school, you can bet my kids will too at some point
Of course, all of this builds on what I’m posting next week, A Sailor’s Life during the Age of Exploration……
See the entire series at The Age of Exploration Unit.
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful says
I love these ideas and I am delighted I can still use them!
Yeah! Glad to hear that.
I love how K’s online teacher taught this topic by asking who discovered America by looking at various sources. They did a unit on primary vs. secondary sources prior to this. It turns out Columbus was at the bottom of the list for who “discovered” America. And that had nothing to do with how horrible he was as a person.
Oh that would be a really cool unit.
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
These are great ideas. I am a little envious of you being able to teach history every day if you want to. This year, A has a wonderful history teacher who has terrific projects and materials, but I simply can’t see how kids will manage to get all the way from first people to Ancient Rome in a year doing history only 2 times a week!
Depending on how organized and how in-depth, it’s totally do-able. Most homeschool curriculum has the plan of teaching history either 2 or 3 times a week. The other days has science.
I like the hero or villain essay idea for high school students! This is going to be a fun unit to follow along.