With this lesson relying on what we can recall from previous learning is essential. To prepare for our lesson, we are going to review our previous learning. I do this by asking them questions and having them discuss what was previous said in our lesson. The area I focus them in is in history and the Spanish's influence on the Maya, Aztec, and Inca. We talk about the differences between the groups and what happened because of these clash of cultures.
To get them started on the new material I assign each of them a number one through three. It will become their group number, but for the reading portion they will do this on their own. As I give them a number I also give them a couple of sticky notes to jot down their notes onto.
Each number will have a different section of the book that they will be responsible for reading and keeping notes on. The three sections are about Coronado and his search for the Seven Cities of Gold. These passages are form their history book. Instead of the whole class reading every section, students will only be responsible for their assigned section.
As they read, I remind them to keep notes on the most important facts that should be shared with their peers. I also remind them to reread the selection to make sure they did not miss anything.
While they were reading, I checked on how many of them were doing with the reading material. When it appears that the majority of them have completed the reading and have notes, they are ready to present their passage to the class.
I call on all of the number ones first. I ask them to bring their sticky notes with them. When the group is at the front I am going to use them to help me model how they will present to their class.
To start, they will need to huddle up and choose a spokesperson. They also will have to decide what are the most important parts the class needs to know to understand the story. They will only get a minute to huddle up and decide all of these things. When they present they need to tell their section like a story as best they can.
We do this for the next two groups. They huddle up, choose facts, and then present.
Once the presentations are complete, I lead them through a discussion on the three parts. I ask lots of leading questions to help them with their understanding. I make sure to point out that in each section, the Native Americans were not treated well because of the Spanish.
To lead into the writing assignment, I keep going with what happened to the Native Americans. We focus on how they were treated and why the reason might have been for that. I ask them if they can make any connections to other times people have been treated unfairly. This gets a great conversation going, students bring up Columbus and then others bring up Martin Luther King Jr.
Now that they have made those connections, they are ready to begin their papers. I explain that they will being doing a reflection. Most of them do not know what this is, so I explain it to be a time where we look back and think what if. Sometimes we reflect on what was good and sometimes we reflect to change. Their reflection will be about equality. I ask them, "what would life have been like if the Spanish had come and treated the Native Americans like equals?" They could also explain what the world should do to not make the same mistakes twice. Another option would be to have them reflect on how two different aspects of our history are similar and why.