Listening to Children Think Critically about Christopher Columbus

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This article describes a story of two fourth-grade teachers' journey to create lessons that would be developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and historically accurate in teaching children about Columbus's encounter with Native Americans. The aim of this four-week unit of study was to have fourth-grade students look at multiple perspectives and consider the accuracy of different reports of historical events. By exploring several different children's books about Columbus, a more meaningful unit that would offer students a balanced approach to Columbus's encounter with the New World was created. The benefit of these lessons was evident in students' abilities to empathize with people from different times and cultures, and to apply their understanding to current events.

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