En la Clase: Rethinking Columbus Using Pictorial Input Charts

Pictorial Input Charts are another activity adapted from GLAD teaching strategies (click here to be taken to the Project GLAD website).  For more information on GLAD strategies there is a great free resource book in pdf format available here.  I’ve had great success using these.  I’ve found it a much more engaging and interesting way to present information to my students.

In this activity, the teacher creates a large poster with important information overlaid on an image relevant to the unit or topic of study.  Typically, in preparation for the activity, the teacher would lightly trace the image and the information on a large sheet of white butcher paper. Then, when it is time to begin, the teacher hangs the image on the board and begins coloring in parts of the image and information previously traced, while presenting the information to the class.  When used as part of a GLAD unit, this strategy is combined with the concept of 10:2 teaching–for every 10 minutes of direct instruction, students are given 2 minutes to discuss the information presented with the class, a partner, or their table group.  It may take a few class periods to color in the entire image and the written information.

This teaching strategy can be used for teaching about both Columbus and the Taíno.  An important factor in rethinking how we teach Columbus is considering how much time and voice we give to the main figures of this historical period.  Often times, the majority of the story presented revolves around Columbus, his men and the King and Queen of Spain.  Rarely are the Taíno given much consideration.  Using this activity, equal time and information is given about both.  Below, I’ve included two different images that could be used for this activity: one of Columbus and one of a Taíno girl. I’ve also included links to the pdf versions of these images. These can be used as the basis for the image sketch, or just use these images, in place of the sketch, to create a large poster.  If you create a large poster, it may be best to laminate the poster, so it can be re-used year after year.


PDF of Taíno Image and PDF of Columbus image

Once you have the image for your pictorial input chart, all you need to do is lightly write in the information you plan to present to your class.  As you compile the information you want to share with the class, think about how you could ‘chunk’ it into various categories.  I always found these categories quite useful with my own students.  It seemed to help them to both process and organize the information presented to them, which meant they had a much easier time remembering and recalling what they’d learned.  It can be especially beneficial to those students who need visual representations of knowledge or information. I used the following categories: Timeline, Accomplishments and Impact, Other Names, and Interesting Facts.  Once you have completed making the posters with your class, keep them hanging somewhere in the room for the rest of the unit, so that the students can use them as informational resources.  I’ve provided both pictures and links to pdf versions of the images with the information overlaid below.


PDF of Taíno image with information and PDF of Columbus image with information

There are multiple ways to extend this activity, including Mind Maps, Venn Diagrams, and Compare and Contrast Essays.  I’ll share more about those our next En la Clase post!



2 thoughts on “En la Clase: Rethinking Columbus Using Pictorial Input Charts

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck | Vamos a Leer

  2. Pingback: En la Clase: Rethinking Conquest and Colonization | Vamos a Leer

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