This week’s En la Clase continues the conversation we began last week about how to reconsider the ways we teach about Christopher Columbus in the classroom. Today’s post looks at one of my favorite activities: Textbook Detectives. A number of articles in the teaching guide Rethinking Columbus discuss ways to use Textbook Detectives in the classroom. You can find these articles on the following pages of Rethinking Columbus: pp 19-21; 38-40; 47-55; 62-8. (Side note: If you’re a local Albuquerque teacher and don’t have a copy of Rethinking Columbus yet, come to our professional development workshop on September 18th–the first 20 teachers will get a free copy of the book!) These articles all offer references, ideas, and/or resources helpful for this activity. One of the reasons I love this activity so much is because it’s easily adapted both for grade level and content. It can be used with any topic, and certainly isn’t limited just to teaching about Christopher Columbus. It’s great for any unit where you want to encourage your students to develop critical thinking skills and analyze the way a subject is portrayed in various literature. Continue reading
This is the second post in our En la Clase series on Rethinking Columbus. While many of us may agree that it is a fruitful and important exercise to encourage our students to re-evaluate the traditional history of Columbus’ exploration, it’s not always easy to know where to start. Embarking on an investigation into what really happened in the conquest of the Caribbean after 1492, can often challenge not only the history we’ve learned from textbooks, but also many stereotypes that accompany that particular view of history. Given this, Bob Peterson’s Anti-Stereotype Curriculum might be the best place to begin a study like this.