The People vs. Columbus, et al turned out to be one of our favorite activities of the semester. I adapted and scaffolded the resource to better meet the needs of my students. I teach at a school with a majority Latino population, with 1/3 ELL students, so with minor modifications students effectively-researched and recorded their findings as well as prepared the defense/prosecution statements. On the day of the trial, my students were highly engaged, motivated and participated at a high level.
Beyond the engagement that I saw in my students, this resource was incredibly helpful to set the foundation for the rest of the year. My students and I often referred to the trial when we continued discussing historical debates. Further, this trial emphasized and centered the Taínos in a narrative that too often doesn’t. The lesson really supported how I centered on people’s history in a way that is more equitable for my students.