In this session the focus is squarely on helping pupils to grasp that people’s opinions of Columbus have changed in the light of new evidence and new perspectives. It brings the debate about diversity right up to date and equips them to confidently counter the view of Columbus as a total hero.


Learning objectives

  • Pupils understand that sailors at the time felt that Columbus took too much credit
  • They grasp that opinion on Columbus today is divided and can give a valid reason why .e.g.
    • He wasn’t the first to go to America
    • He only found America by accident
    • He treated the natives badly, taking their land for Spain and forcing some into slavery

Step 1

Show pupils the image on slide two which is a decapitated statue of Columbus. ( Don’t worry, its not gory and I left out those which have Columbus hands covered in blood-red paint!) Why would anyone want to destroy a statue to a hero?

Step 2

Can pupils think of any reason why Columbus might not be so popular today. This is a difficult question but some pupils might be able to offer an idea or two, but don’t dwell on this. You

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