This is a guided reading that features a translated excerpt from the 1542 journals of Bartolome de Las Casas. De Las Casas was appointed a Spanish bishop in the New World, and while he originally supported the Spanish imperialism in the Indies, his journal discusses why he eventually came to reject the encomienda system and how it caused a genocide of the indigenous peoples (Arawaks/Taínos). I like to use this primary source alongside Columbus' journals as a way to compare different perspectives of the same historical events.
The reading features 11 questions in the margins to help students with comprehending and analyzing the text. Since original texts can be confusing for students, I also underlined vocabulary words and defined them in the margins. This is a reading that can be used either as an in-class text or as homework/supplemental reading.