In this collaborative assignment about the Age of Exploration students evaluate the validity of a claim made in a secondary source (in this case a textbook) by comparing primary source accounts that apply to the claim. In this particular case they are analyzing whether Christopher Columbus continued to believe he had found Asia until his death.
The lesson is designed to take place in a single one-hour period but could easily be extended with an introductory reading and closing debrief. To save time or for lower-level students one of the primary sources can be removed.
This assignment was designed specifically to address the Common Core State Standards for Middle School Social Studies. More free assignments can be found at www.mrroughton.com.