Christopher Columbus - Submitted by Natasha Margulis, European History Teacher
I have used Pastwatch when teaching European History (1500-1800) with great success. I coupled a chapter from Pastwatch with a letter from Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabel. The students reacted very positively towards this information in fact, none of them knew that what they had read from Pastwatch was a work of fiction.
Pages from Pastwatch 173-179
Letter from Columbus to Spain
The students came away with a clearer understanding of Columbus’s motives for undertaking his journey. Instead of condemning him for his actions, as recent trends in society and history have tended to do, they were able to critically analyze his motives, which were given in his letter to the Spanish monarchs. The discussion that came out of these writings was exciting, as it touched on religion, exploration/colonization, and power.