The Zinn Education Project made untold history come to life for students working on the People vs. Columbus tribunal. Students were immersed in building background knowledge by reading the indictments, working together, and using teacher-created graphic organizers to build a defense and a strong prosecution.
The lesson captivated the attention of my students in the online environment, fostered collaboration and highlighted rigorous writing, reading, and speaking & listening standards as we work our way through a delicate piece of history that not many know and everyone should appreciate.
Students remarked at the end of the first day in trial how fun and engaging the work was and how much they were learning by working together, interacting with the teacher and rereading the indictments to write argument pieces to present to class. Seeing the students produce quality work aligned to standards and related to our curriculum content is a magical feeling for a teacher and I for one am humbled it happened in my classroom.
I am grateful I had robust materials to use, a guide for instruction, and the opportunity to create. I am eager to continue to use more Zinn Education Project resources with my students in the future.