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KEY STANDARDS

RH.6-8.1, RH.6-8.2, RH.6-8.6, RH.6-8.9, RI.6-8.1, RI.6-8.6

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

• Teach this article as part of a lesson on the Age of Exploration.

• Integrate the article into a study of Native Americans and America’s westward expansion.

Before Reading

1. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
(5 MINUTES)

Ask students to brainstorm things they associate with the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas— both the good and the bad. Ask a few students to share their ideas with the class.

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Read & Analyze

2. INDEPENDENT READING
(15 MINUTES)

Have students read the article on their own, writing down any comments or questions.


3. CLOSE-READING QUESTIONS
(15 MINUTES)

Have students write their answers to each question or use these prompts to guide a discussion.

  • MAIN IDEA: Why are many Americans questioning the celebration of Columbus Day?
    (In the past, Columbus was celebrated for “discovering” America. Now many people think instead that his journey represents the beginning of a long history of forcing the indigenous people of the Americas off their land.)
  • EVALUATE: Would observing both Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day be a solution to the controversy?
    (Answers will vary but should be supported by facts.)

Extend & Assess

4. ANALYZE A PRIMARY SOURCE

Assign the skills sheet Analyzing a Primary Source: Letter to King Ferdinand of Spain.

DIFFERENTIATING

Lower Level After reading each section, ask students to write a brief statement summarizing that portion of the text.

Higher Level Have students research other challenges facing Native Americans today.

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