"Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Thanksgiving Opinion Writing Prompt and Lesson

"Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Thanksgiving Opinion Writing Prompt and Lesson
"Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Thanksgiving Opinion Writing Prompt and Lesson
"Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Thanksgiving Opinion Writing Prompt and Lesson
"Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Thanksgiving Opinion Writing Prompt and Lesson
"Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Thanksgiving Opinion Writing Prompt and Lesson
"Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Thanksgiving Opinion Writing Prompt and Lesson
File Type

PDF

(1 MB|5 pages)
Product Rating
Standards
  • Product Description
  • StandardsNEW

"Was Columbus a hero or villain?"

Get your students using communication and critical thinking skills through this engaging, thought-provoking Thanksgiving/Native American unit lesson centered around the picture book Encounter by Jane Yolen. This is a perfect lesson to be given around Columbus Day or Thanksgiving to raise awareness about how Native Americans were impacted by colonization.

*The read-aloud/graphic organizer part of the lesson takes one day. Rough draft writing, editing, and final draft writing may take anywhere from 2-3 days to complete.*

Encounter focuses on Columbus's arrival in the Americas from a young Taino boy's perspective. Through illustrations, allusions, and explicit statements in the text, students learn about what it was like for those who were first impacted by European arrival in North, South, Caribbean, and Central America. The lesson included in this product focuses on helping students analyze the illustrations and quotations from the story, along with incorporating their background knowledge, to answer the prompt, "Was Columbus a hero or villain?" Students are encouraged to come up with reasons to support both arguments, and then are asked pick a side they support using reasons taken from the text/class discussion to complete an opinion paragraph outline and final draft.

My 3rd grade students loved this activity and I was very impressed by their mature, thoughtful responses to the prompt.

Product Includes:

  • 2 page detailed lesson plan
  • 1 graphic organizer black-line
  • 1 final draft black-line
Log in to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
N/A
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