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The Myth of Discovery
Nancy Tilton, Aida Martinez, Keleigh Jagel
West Shore Jr./Sr. High School
Brevard County, Florida
Caribbean Diversity Brevard Public Schools
Title: The Myth of Discovery
Overview: Students will uncover important events and individuals to the history of the Caribbean,
both prior to and after European invasion.
Time Required: Projects span over a two week period, but will not be entirely class time.
SS: World History (9th grade)
LA: 9th Grade English
WL: Spanish II (includes 9th grade)
SS: Class copies of an outline map of the Caribbean
Time in the Computer Lab and Media Center for research
LA: Salt (1997) by Earl Lovelace (and/or) Christopher Columbus' Travel Log excerpts,
depending on maturity level of students and teacher preference. (Portions of both can be found
WL: Text book: Realidades 2, Internet access
Project materials: poster, markers
SS: Students will encounter primary sources and literature that they will use to research their island.
They will gain valuable research skills and will discover cultural exchanges between the
Europeans and indigenous peoples, including language.
LA: Students will analyze the historical context of the reading assignment and will learn
language that is both historical and common to the background of the writers.
WL: Students will create a timeline by studying the historical literature of the Caribbean.
Lesson objectives and SSS:
SS: Students will analyze historical information on a Caribbean island of their choice and create a
presentation on the history of the island surrounding colonization.
SS.A.1.4.2- Historical chronology and the historical perspective
SS.B.2.4.1- Environmental factors
SS.B.2.4.2- Human migration trends
SS.B.2.4.6- Exploration, colonization and settlement
LA: Students will interpret the assigned reading and create a list of evidence from the
source that supports the claim that European discovery of the Caribbean is a myth. They will
then write a reflection.
LA.910.1.6.5- New vocabulary
LA.910.1.6.10- Determine meanings of words, pronunciations, parts of speech, etymologies, and
alternate word choices by using a dictionary, thesaurus, and digital tools.
LA.910.2.3.1- The student will explain how meaning is enhanced through various features of poetry,
including sound (e.g., rhythm, repetition, alliteration, consonance, assonance), structure (e.g., meter,
rhyme scheme), and graphic elements (e.g., line length, punctuation, word position)
WL: Strand 1: Communication
Organize information in written form about the topic.
Strand 2: Cultures
B.1.1.1: B.1.1.2; B.1.1.3; B.1.2.1
Identify and discuss various aspects of the target culture.
Strand 3: Connections
C 1.1.1; C.1.1.2; C.1.2.1; C.1.2.2; C.2.1.1.
Read about the history of the Caribbean during Spain's exploration of the new world.
Use maps to identify countries located in the Caribbean basin.
Learn about similarities and differences throughout the region (i.e. culture, language,
music, religions, etc.)
Interpret data about significant indigenous population decline
Strand 4 Comparisons
Recognize the similarities and differences between students' native language and the
target language in terms of pronunciation, alphabet and written expression.
Recognize the contributions of other parallel cultures (African and European)
Give students an outline map (Google outline maps) of the Caribbean and give them a brief
lecture on the geographic location of the islands and surrounding coastal areas that are often
considered part of the Caribbean, as well. Students may be interested in the consideration of
Southern Florida and New Orleans being part of the Caribbean. Also, discuss which European
nations invaded the Caribbean, what islands they claimed and during what time. (Focus on
England, France, Spain and the Netherlands.) Students should be able to label the islands and
get an idea of who invaded them based on your lecture. GoogleEarth (www.earth.google.com)
could also be used.
After your lecture, groups students into threes and have each group select an island to do extra
Students should do research on the history of their chosen island. Their focus should be on the
island pre-European invasion, post-European invasion and the brutality/cultural exchange
experienced. The goal is that students will understand that most Caribbean islands were
functioning societies before Europeans invaded and that using the term "discovery" is a myth.
Students should present their findings in whatever format they would like and should post it on
www.voicethread.com and show it to the class.
Set a due date and time limit for students. (See example rubric below)
Choose which source you will be using with your students and make sure you have enough
copies for every student.
Introduce the text with your students, explaining the historical context in which it was written,
and inform them that they will be creating a list of information from the material that will prove
wrong the long standing myth that Europeans discovered the Caribbean. They should write the
sentence, the page number and how the comment dispels the myth.
Assign students portions, or the whole book/document depending on how much time you have to
spend on this assignment. (Ideas for ways to review material: Assign a portion for homework
and discuss the following day in class; Have students team up to read portions together in class
and discuss main points; hold a shared inquiry; or another method that you deem appropriate,
keeping in mind that some of the material may be hard to understand.)
Along the way, either discuss or create a list for students of the meanings of certain cultural
words that they may not understand to make the native language connection.
After finishing the assigned reading and list, students should write a three page reflection on
"Why European Discovery of the Caribbean is a Myth" using the assigned reading as evidence.
(See example rubric below)
Students will make a (K-W---L) chart. They will brainstorm what they know about the topic,
what they want to learn and what they have learned.
Students will create a timeline to interpret historical data. They could use TimeRime
(www.timerime.com) to do this.
Create Spanish vocabulary for historical data. Assign each student 3 vocabulary words to create
a image with how to pronounce the word on VoiceThread. Students can also create a Wordle
(www.wordle.com) of the new vocabulary.
Class discussions about Christopher Columbus and other Spanish explorers.
Research of the contribution of the explorers to the New World and what they received in
Present historical timeline events 1492 1898.
Assign groups timeline project for specific range of years.
Periodically check students' progress on their projects, especially on days that are given to them
to use the computer lab.
The final assessment is the Voicethread presentations. They should have historically accurate
information; meet the time requirement; and present information that covers pre-invasion, post-
invasion, brutality in the island and cultural exchanges.
List of dispelling evidence and reasoning
Rubric for timeline project
Informal group discussion
Additional comments and/or instructions:
SS: Example Voicethread Presentation Rubric: (Adjust as needed)
Category Expectations Possible Points Earned
Information The information in your presentation should 40
be historically accurate and complete. You
Creativity & Your presentation should be unique and 40
Originality original, showing effort and teamwork.
Meets At least a 10 minute Voicethread 20
Minimum presentation; all group members participate
Standards in the project; remained on task when
provided time in class to work. Cite your
sources used at the end of your Voicethread
LA: Final Reflection Rubric: (This is an example. Adjust to meet your classroom needs.)
Category Expectations Possible Points Earned
Mechanics & Your reflection should be free of 15
Page Min. grammatical errors, and meet the minimum
page requirements (3).
Structure Your reflection should be organized with a 20
thesis, body paragraphs and a closing
conclusion that summarize your main points,
rather than a long string of events or a story.
Persuasiveness This is a persuasive reflection. It should 25
convince the reader that European discovery
of the Caribbean is a myth.
Evidence In order to persuade your reader, you need 40
evidence. The basis for your argument
should be the assigned reading. Every body
paragraph should contain at least two
references from the reading. Cite the
location of your references in () after you use
should research and discuss your island prior
to European invasion, after European
invasion and the cultural effects of that
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