Before Columbus…

On Friday in class, we did an activity exploring who first arrived in America.  Was it Native Americans via land bridge?  Was it ancient Africans who routinely sailed between the African and South/Central American continents?  Or was it more ancient people from America that traveled to Europe and Asia?

Whatever the answer, this was a practice in two things:

  1. Basing an argument in fact, not presumption or guessing.
  2. Evaluating the credibility of evidence.
  3. Getting excited about one of “history’s mysteries!”

Below is a copy of the activity.  This will be the source of one possible essay question.  Students should use 2-3 pieces of evidence to support their answer, for reasons that we discussed above, as well as in class.  This is one of our favorite activities, discovering the possibility of pre-Columbian activity in America.  While Columbus (as we’ll discuss Tues/Weds.) started an new era in world history, he certainly was not the first to “discover” America.  The students find this very interesting and exciting, not to mention an intriguing mystery to solve.

Before Columbus…