This student favorite, multi-day activity transforms your classroom into a dynamic courtroom. Students will play the role of "Lawyer" or "Juror" and have the opportunity to analyze primary and secondary sources revolving around the topic of whether History should view Columbus as a hero or villain. This is great practice for the skills of forming, defending and articulating claims. Rather than letting students choose what direction they will be arguing, they are forced to argue a given position regardless of what their personal opinion is. This ensures there is a balance during the debate and I find it makes the activity more interesting and memorable. Students are able to appreciate the nuances of both sides.
I've had students come back and visit me years later and one of the first things they ask are, "Did you do the Columbus debate with your kids this year!?" Students really do enjoy the competition of trying to "win" the debate and take it very seriously. I'm really impressed how they rise to the occasion.
Student handouts, Primary/Secondary Source Handouts, Verdict Ballots, as well as Teacher Notes on how I conduct the 4 day activity are included in your purchase. Enjoy!