This packet of information (which I am thinking will take 2-3 lessons if not more), asks students to read two articles; one discussing the positives of Christopher Columbus, while the second article goes into great detail about the devastation he and his fellow men caused the New World.
Students are also being asked to read, and then listen to the song "Don't Drink the Water," by The Dave Matthews Band. This song essentially sums up how many explorers, including Columbus treated the Natives as they settled into THEIR home.
Students are then given the task of:
*Answering Close Read questions about all three of the texts (by using text-based evidence to back up their answers).
*Write an essay stating their opinion and making a claim of whether or not Christopher Columbus should be looked at as a villain or a hero. Students are asked to again, use evidence from the articles and the song to complete this writing piece.
I believe strongly in this form of activity, where the teacher allows the student to make their own determination about a topic. Students are given this choice through this project.
BTW...I stated the grade level would be 3rd-10th. Definitely preview this before allowing a third grader to read. The articles are toned down to the point where I know 4th graders could handle them (based on content and reading level), however, there is some content that may be slightly tough for 3rd graders to handle.
Thanks for looking!