This is a Document-Based Question essay requiring students to take a position on whether Christopher Columbus should be judged as a hero or villain in history. Students are required to use the provided documents to support their thesis as well as address the opposing view. There are 13 documents provided (written and images) that students must analyze before determining a thesis and supporting argument. Documents include short selections such as journal excerpts from Columbus, first-hand accounts from conquistadors, population graphs, and other primary source materials.
The documents available for download in the file include graphic organizers for students to analyze the documents and prepare their argument, directions for the essay requirements, a scoring rubric, and the 13 documents for analysis. Additionally, a 13-slide power point presentation is included which can be used to introduce the DBQ to students as well as take them through the requirements and steps to complete their essays. The requirements of the DBQ include using four documents to support the argument and one to acknowledge an opposing view following the five-paragraph persuasive essay format.
This lesson is typically done over several class periods allowing students to analyze and understand the documents before beginning the writing process.