Story of the World: Exploring New Worlds

This week we move into some hairy territory in Story of the World. We’ll be learning about Vespucci and Magellan, Cortes and Columbus. And while they may have been exploring a world that was new to them, the “New World” was already home to thriving civilizations.

I suspect it’s going to be a week full of questions, as we not only talk about brave explorers, but also about slavery, genocide, and oppression.

Louise Derman Sparks, in her fabulous book Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children suggests telling the stories so commonly accepted as history from the point of view of Native Americans. Tell the story “Christopher Columbus’s Mistake” or “My House and the Strange People”. Ask your children what they know about Native Americans, and explore the stereotypes. Be sure to help them distinguish between daily life and ceremonial activities.

Christopher Columbus’s Mistake (A reader’s theater play)
Rethinking Columbus

And finally, I would like to share a brand new resource for this crazy parenting gig: Raise the Change. From their “about us” page:

Raise the Change is committed to respectful and open discussion about political and cultural topics that affect us as women, mothers and global citizens. Our worldview is liberal and progressive.

The site is new (and run by two dear friends of mine!) and not only has wonderful resources, but a growing discussion community. See you there!

I’d love to hear your ideas on presenting a balanced, non-biased view of historical events!