Need a good primary source for your exploration unit? How about one of the very first accounts written by the main man himself, Christopher Columbus? In this source, Columbus writes a letter to the finance minister of the Spanish crown. The very person responsible for convincing King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to finance Columbus' first voyage. This source also describes his meetings with the Taino people on the many islands he visits. After reading a large portion of the letter, students will have questions asking them why Columbus would write such a letter, and also his views toward the Taino. There is an alternate/accompanying activity that asks students to find what they believe are the lies and exaggerations. Your students will love picking apart this letter from Christopher Columbus!
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