Who was Christopher Columbus? In this video, Kim explores Columbus's background, his search for royal patronage, and his first voyage in 1492.
Christopher Columbus is one of the most controversial figures in history. By some, he is viewed as a grand explorer who opened up new areas for European conquest and profit. But by others, he is viewed as a butcher, who brought disease, and who's actions began the destruction of an entire continent's population. This lesson will show you two different views of Columbus so that you can draw your own conclusions about whether we should celebrate Columbus or not.
This resource was created by Kim Francis in collaboration with Lynn Bowder as part of ESU2's Mastering the Arts project. This project is a four year initiative focused on integrating arts into the core curriculum through teacher education and experiential learning.
In small groups and class discussion, students share knowledge about Christopher Columbus and his voyages, learn about the impact of Columbus, and consider some ecological and political results of the encounter.
When Columbus arrived in the Caribbean, he met the Taino people. In this video, Kim explores the consequences of Columbus's voyage for the Taino people, as well as the changes wrought in Europe by Spain's New World exploits.
This role play begins with the premise that a monstrous crime was committed in the years after 1492, when perhaps as many as three million or more Taínos on the island of Hispaniola lost their lives. (Most scholars estimate the number of people on Hispaniola in 1492 at between one and three million; some estimates are lower and some much higher. By 1550, very few Taínos remained alive.)
Who — and/or what — was responsible for this slaughter? This is the question students confront here.
As the story goes, in 1492 Christopher Columbus, an Italian sailor on hire for the Spanish, landed on the island of Hispanola and the world was never the same. While it is generally accepted that Columbus did not “discover America” (since there were already people living in the land that would become known as the Americas) it is generally accepted that his contact with the Native People of Hispanola and the later European movement brought technology and civilization to the Americas.