This unit has a lot of pre-reading activities BEFORE students read a short novel, a biography about Christopher Columbus called Follow the Dream by Peter Sis. There is a KWL chart for students to fill out. Students will then study a ship from Columbus’ time and its parts. After that, students will tell the “story” a map shows the students. Students will look at “primary sources” and think about what is going on in each picture and tell classmates evidence.
Students will then read a short novel about Columbus called Follow the Dream by Peter Sis and answer specific recall questions. Students will study a banner/flag to have them connect what is on the flag to Columbus’ story. Finally, the teacher will read the book Encounter, by Jane Yolen to the class to show a different Columbus story. STUDENTS MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NO SINGLE STORY in history. What do students really think happened when Columbus “discovered” America? Jane Yolen tells this imaginative “encounter” from the point of view of a Native American child. This child’s fears were well founded as the true history of America unraveled.
This is a guided reading journey to take with students as the teacher reads Follow the Dream and Encounter aloud. Students will make predictions, connections, talk about their reactions, and make inferences. Included are excellent discussion questions as well that students can “turn and talk” about, write about, or have a fishbowl discussion. (See my Fishbowl Discussions unit on TpT).
This unit is recommended for grades 3-4.