The Two Sides of Columbus

If you have the responsibility of teaching about Columbus, you need to be aware there’s more to the story than three ships and 1492. If your picture of Columbus is still the noble explorer, nothing will take the wind out of your sails like the article from Express India describing the mock trial by Honduran Indians, charging Columbus with genocide and robbery. Columbus’ infamous “discovery” is considered by many Indians throughout the Americas as the start of five centuries of oppression.

On the other side of the coin, a real-world activity is to draw one of Columbus’ ships to actual scale, using chalk on the school parking lot. The dimensions here are supplied by Teachnet contributor, Jeanelle Mitsdarfer:

Santa Maria 82 feet long 28 feet wide crew 40
Pinta 78 feet long 26 feet wide crew 26

(about the size of a tennis court)
NiƱa 74 feet long 24 feet wide crew 24

For more information, look no further than Columbus, Ohio, which hoped in 1992 to cash in on its namesake status by building a full-scale replica of the Santa Maria. You can read all about the replica at their SantaMaria.Org website.

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