Can you imagine a world that has Italian pasta without tomato sauce to smother the noodles? How about having a hamburger without any fries? Or maybe an alternate reality where the Irish potato famine of the 19th century never happened? Well, without the Columbian Exchange all of these scenarios could have played out in very real ways.
The Columbian Exchange is one of those AP World history concepts that you simply must know for your upcoming AP World History exam. It has helped to shape the world that we have come to know and love today, but it is also a perfect example of how historical events have shaped cultures, societies, environments, and even what we eat across the world. But not all of it has been great. Some have suffered and others have benefited from its affects.
We will cover these things and more in this AP World History crash course on the Columbian Exchange and let you in on how it has shaped historical events from across the globe. Plus, at this end of this AP World History Review, we will explain how the concept itself might pop up on the AP World History exam you are planning on taking. So, let’s take this trip around the world with Christopher Columbus and discover how he and his resulting Columbian Exchange changed global history!
What is the Columbian Exchange?
You might think that the Columbian Exchange might have only to do with Christopher Columbus’ voyage across the Atlantic and the exchanges he made there. Well, that would only be sort of correct. This AP World History concept is Columbus’ namesake, but it’s also so much more. Columbus’ expeditions have sent massive ripples throughout history that we are still feeling the effects of today.
So, before we get too bogged down in the details, let’s get this AP World History crash course started by asking, what is the Columbian Exchange?
Simply put, the Columbian Exchange was the extensive movements of plants, animals, diseases, and peoples between the Old and New Worlds after Columbus made his famous voyage in 1492. But this is also one of those AP World History concepts that pertain to more than just physical items like the potato. The exchanges that took place included ideas, cultures, and technology that were transmitted across the world at that time.
You may not have known this, but before Europe’s intrusion upon the Americas, Europeans had never eaten a tomato before. There was no such thing as pasta marinara. Travesty.
But seriously, there were massive amounts of foods and animals that were transferred between the Americas and the rest of the world at this time. Europeans brought over things like olives, onions, rice, turnips, and apples. While they took avocados, corn (maize), squash, pumpkins, and rubber.
On top of that, goose, pigs, horses, and chickens were taken to the Americas while llamas, turkeys, alpacas, and guinea pigs were taken back to Europe.
And this is just a tiny snippet of the kinds of things that were exchanged between the two parts of the world. Massive, and we mean massive, amounts of stuff was brought between these parts of the world that used to be isolated from each other in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Columbian Exchange
Now, all of this seems great, right? What’s wrong with a little bit of exchange now and again? I mean, without European apples there would be no phrase, “American as apple pie.” But therein lays the historical problem. And as an AP World History review, we love historical problems.
Although there were definitely some great things that came about from the Columbian Exchange, it most definitely was not even-handed. The Europeans got the good deal, while indigenous Americans suffered.
One of the main reasons for this was the rampant spreading of disease. As we are sure you aware (but in case, you aren’t, that’s why we are reminding you in this AP World History crash course review), one of the reasons that Europeans sought land elsewhere was that the continent was overcrowded and undernourished, which is prime territory of pathogens.
In other words, Europeans were dirty and diseased. Native Americans, on the other hand, were not packed together and considered hygiene an important part of social and cultural life. And disease like measles, smallpox, and yellow fever came along with European bodies and goods.
The native populations of the Americas had no natural immunities to any of these. All of this meant a decimation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. It is believed that about 90% of the people in the Americas died from these diseases. Europeans, on the other hand, found easy to grow and nutrient rich foods like the potato to feed their starving populations. One side definitely benefited more than the other.
The Whys and Hows of the Columbian Exchange
We are all about questions in these AP World History reviews, so why not ask: “what explains the events of the Columbian Exchange?” Or maybe, “Why does this matter?” And remember, these are the types of questions that AP World History examiners want students to comprehend when they are studying AP World History concepts like the Columbian Exchange.
So, what you need to remember is that European were not just exchanging out of the kindness of their hearts. They were colonizing. They were colonizing not only the land, but the people, the animals, the plants, and the environment. When European explorers like Columbus took plants and animals from their natural habitats, they were looking for ways to reproduce them back in the Old World to help to expand their populations and strengthen their nations.
They also wanted to control the land and its vegetation while in the Americas as well. This meant exploitation for profit. And what became one of the most profitable ways to plant? Slavery. The Columbian exchange resulted in the massive movement of African men and women in to the New World, but while enslaved. This also meant that cash crops like sugar cane and eventually cotton would overtake otherwise diverse vegetable life.
But they were also there to take over the land. And when it came time for the native peoples to attempt to defend the places that they had called home for all those years, their populations were so depleted from disease, that they simply could not keep up. This had led to a takeover of the Americas by the Europeans.
And finally, the Columbian Exchange resulted in the introduction of invasive species. This is a tricky term that’s fraught with meaning, but for the purposes of the AP World History Exam and this AP World History crash course in general, just remember that plants and animals were introduced in the New World that totally thrived and took over the indigenous flora and fauna.
The Columbian Exchange and the AP World History Exam
Whew! You got all that? Good. Even if you don’t have it all down yet, that’s ok. But when it comes time to studying for your AP World History Exam, reread this AP World History review on the Columbian Exchange a few times, so you know you’ve got the important points. This is one of those AP World History concepts that you simply must know.
Big picture is probably more important than little picture here. Sure you should know that pumpkins were from the Old World. But you really need to think about the cause and effect stuff. Remember the role of colonialism, remember the inequalities, and remember the exploitations. These are the central concepts of this AP World History review.
Now, let’s take a look at a previous AP World History exam question. In fact, here’s a perfect one from the year 2012:
Compare demographic and environmental effects of the Columbian Exchange on the Americas with the Columbian Exchange’s demographic and environmental effects on ONE of the following regions between 1492 and 1750.
After reading this AP World History crash course on the Columbian Exchange, you should have this question down pat. I bet you can even do it with your eyes closed. Well, maybe not.
But again, as we have shown you in this AP World History review, the Columbian Exchange resulted in a massively unequal relationship between the Old and New Worlds. Both demographically and environmentally, the affects have been widespread, including the destruction of populations, the spreading of diseases, and the increased nutrition of certain societies. Either way, we’ve given you what you’ll need in this AP World History crash course to score that 5 on your exam, so good luck!
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Copyright National Humanities Center, 2015
In what ways did the arrival of Europeans to America bring about unforeseen and unintended consequences for the people and environments of both the New World and the Old?
The Columbian Exchange — the interchange of plants, animals, disease, and technology sparked by Columbus’s voyages to the New World — marked a critical point in history. It allowed ecologies and cultures that had previously been separated by oceans to mix in new and unpredictable ways. It was an interconnected web of events with immediate and extended consequences that could neither be predicted nor controlled.
Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
Grade 9–10 complexity band.
For more information on text complexity see these resources from achievethecore.org.
In the Text Analysis section, Tier 2 vocabulary words are defined in pop-ups, and Tier 3 words are explained in brackets.
Click here for standards and skills for this lesson.
Common Core State Standards
- ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 (cite evidence to analyze specifically and by inference)
- ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2 (determine a central idea and its development)
Advanced Placement US History
- Key Concept 1.2 (IIA) (introduction of crops and animals not found in the Americas)
In this lesson students will explore a description of the Columbian Exchange written by Charles C. Mann as part of the introduction to his book, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. In three excerpts students will examine elements of the Exchange — an overview, a specific biological example of unintended consequences, and finally an example of unintended human costs of the Columbian Exchange. Each excerpt is accompanied by close reading questions for students to complete. The text analysis is accompanied by three interactive exercises to aid in student understanding. The first interactive allows students to explore vocabulary in context; the second encourages students to review the textual analysis; and the third explores the use of diction, simile, and appeal to authority.
This lesson focuses upon the Columbian Exchange as an interwoven process with unforeseen consequences. Charles Mann expands upon the earlier theories of Alfred W. Crosby, who explored the idea of the Columbian Exchange in 1972 (for a general essay on the Columbian Exchange written by Crosby, including suggestions for class discussions, click here). Although Mann details the effects of tobacco, the potato, corn, malaria, yellow fever, the rubber industry, and other elements of the Exchange in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres fully in 1493, this lesson focuses specifically upon some effects of the Exchange in Hispaniola. The follow-up assignment allows students to extend the effects of the Exchange into the African slave trade. The author uses Colon, the Spanish spelling for Columbus, throughout, and that spelling has been retained in the excerpts for this lesson.
This lesson is divided into two parts, both accessible below. The teacher’s guide includes a background note, the text analysis with responses to the close reading questions, access to the interactive exercises, and a follow-up assignment. The student’s version, an interactive worksheet that can be e-mailed, contains all of the above except the responses to the close reading questions, and the follow-up assignment.
|Teacher’s Guide(continues below)||Student Version(click to open)|
- What kind of text are we dealing with?
- When was it written?
- Who wrote it?
- For what audience was it intended?
- For what purpose was it written?
When Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola (the island including the modern countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic) during his first voyage in 1492, he and his men did not realize the lasting effects their voyage would have on both the New World and the Old at that time and in the years to come. The Columbian Exchange is the term given to the transfer of plants, animals, disease, and technology between the Old World from which Columbus came and the New World which he found. Some exchanges were purposeful — the explorers intentionally brought animals and food — but others were accidental. In this lesson you will read about this Exchange from a description written by Charles C. Mann, a writer specializing in scientific topics. This lesson uses excerpts from a book entitled 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created in which Mann describes the effects, both intended and unintended, of the Columbian Exchange. Mann wrote 1493 to explore the Columbian Exchange as a process which is still going on today.
This lesson draws from the introduction in Mann’s book. There are three excerpts, each with close reading questions. The first excerpt is a general overview of the Exchange — while it does not include all parts of the Exchange, you will see examples of how animals and plants from one part of the world replaced those in another part of the world. In excerpt two you will explore a specific example of unintended consequences of the Columbian Exchange, when settlers thought they were simply bringing in an enjoyable food, but they wound up with an invasive pest. Finally, in excerpt three you can see the devastating effects of the Columbian Exchange upon the Taino Indians, the residents of Hispaniola before Columbus arrived. In some of the excerpts you will see Columbus spelled as Colon — this is the Spanish spelling and is used by the author.
Close Reading Questions
1. Why do you believe Columbus brought cattle, sheep or horses with him?
They were part of the European culture. They would help in farming (cattle and sheep) and communication, transportation, and war (horses). The Spanish intended to start a colony and would need the animals.
2. What would the Taino culture have been like without cattle or horses?
There would have been communication only by human messenger and fields planted by hand. There would have been no quick communication (by horse) or plowed fields or pastures (no cattle, so they were not possible or necessary) and only a few, small paths, no real roads (the only transportation was by foot).
3. What is the thesis statement of paragraph 1? How does Mann develop that thesis? Cite evidence from the text.
The thesis is “Colon and his crew did not voyage alone.” Mann develops that thesis by giving examples to prove his point, including earthworms, cockroaches, African Grasses, rats, and other animals and plants.
4. How did the introduction of cattle and sheep affect plant life on Hispaniola?
New grasses for grazing choked out native species.
5. Why is it important that alien grasses, trees, and other plants choked out native vegetation in Hispaniola?
Choking out native grasses reduced the biodiversity (the number of distinct life forms) of Hispaniola. Ecosystems that are more biodiverse (they have more distinct life forms) are more productive and are more resistant to diseases.
6. What can be the effect of introducing a new predator into an environment, such as the Indian mongoose in Hispaniola? Give an example.
It can render another species extinct, which may itself have unintended consequences. For instance, the food source for the Dominican snake may have increased in population which may have led to other effects.
7. How does Mann show that the Columbian Exchange is still ongoing?
He relates how, in 2004, the orange groves have become prey of the lime swallowtail butterflies.
8. In the second paragraph of this excerpt, Mann implies his thesis but does not actually state it. What is the implied thesis of paragraph 2? How does he imply the thesis?
Mann implies that the Columbian Exchange can have negative results. He gives examples, citing grasses that were choked out, trees that were replaced with other types of trees, and animals driven toward extinction.
…Colon [Columbus] and his crew did not voyage alone. They were accompanied by a menagerie of insects, plants, mammals, and microorganisms. Beginning with La Isabela [Colon’s first settlement], European expeditions brought cattle, sheep, and horses, along with crops like sugar cane (originally from New Guinea), wheat (from the Middle East), bananas (from Africa), and coffee (also from Africa). Equally important, creatures the colonists knew nothing about hitchhiked along for the ride. Earthworms, mosquitoes, and cockroaches; honeybees, dandelions, and African grasses; rats of every description — all of them poured from the hulls of Colon’s vessels and those that followed, rushing like eager tourists into lands that had never seen their like before.
Movqvites (Mosquito), “Histoire Naturelle
des Indes,” ca. 1586
Close Reading Questions
9. According to the author and his sources, what unintended import came in to Hispaniola with plantains?
With the plantains came scale insects.
10. How does the author define scale insects?
They are small creatures with tough, waxy coats that suck the juices from plant roots and stems.
11. Define “ecological release.”
Ecological release is when an invasive species is introduced into an environment with no natural predators and subsequently the population explodes.
12. Using the example of scale insects as evidence, why are natural predators important to an ecosystem?
They help to regulate the population of a species and keep an ecosystem in balance.
13. What was the unintended effect of this import, scale insects, according to Wilson? Why did they have this effect?
The scale insects sucked juices from plants and stems. They had no natural enemies, so their populations grew greatly. The scale insects became a food source for fire ants. With a virtually unlimited food source, the fire ant population grew greatly. The fire ants invaded settlers’ homes. This proved to be dangerous to the settlers.
14. Mann begins the second paragraph in this excerpt with “So far this is informed speculation.” What effect does this admission have on our perception of Mann as an author?
It reminds the reader that Mann is approaching his topic from a scientific perspective, being careful to alert readers to what is proven and what is not. This helps to establish him as a writer we can trust.
15. What document from the 1500s seems to confirm this unintended effect?
Bartolome de Las Casas wrote of a sudden infestation of fire ants in 1518 and 1519.
16. What was the unintended effect to settlers of the introduction of plantains to Hispaniola?
Although they had plantains to eat, they also had to deal with fire ants. As a result, they abandoned their homes.
17. How does Mann combine 16th and 20th century evidence?
He uses 20th century science to explain a 16th century eye-witness account.
Natives and newcomers interacted in unexpected ways, creating biological bedlam. When Spanish colonists imported African plantains [a tropical plant that resembles a banana] in 1516, the Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson has proposed, they also imported scale insects, small creatures with tough, waxy coats that suck the juices from plant roots and stems. About a dozen banana-infesting scale insects are known in Africa. In Hispaniola, Wilson argued, these insects had no natural enemies. In consequence, their numbers must have exploded — a phenomenon known to science as “ecological release.” This spread of scale insects would have dismayed the island’s European banana farmers but delighted one of its native species: the tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata. S. geminata is fond of dining on scale insects’ sugary excrement; to ensure the flow, the ants will attack anything that disturbs them. A big increase in scale insects would have led to a big increase in fire ants.
So far this is informed speculation. What happened in 1518 and 1519 is not. In those years, according to Bartolome de Las Casas, a missionary priest who lived through the incident, Spanish orange, pomegranate, and cassia plantations were destroyed “from the roots up.” Thousands of acres of orchards were “all scorched and dried out, as though flames had fallen from the sky and burned them.” The actual culprit, Wilson argued, was the sap-sucking scale insects. But what the Spaniards saw was S. geminata — “an infinite number of ants,” Las Casas reported, their stings causing “greater pains than wasps that bite and hurt men.” The hordes of ants swarmed through houses, blackening roofs “as if they had been sprayed with charcoal dust,” covering floors in such numbers that colonists could sleep only by placing the legs of their beds in bowls of water. They “could not be stopped in any way nor by any human means.”… Overwhelmed and terrified, Spaniards abandoned their homes to the insects….
Close Reading Questions
18. What is the thesis of this excerpt?
Mann asserts that “the most dramatic impact of the Columbian Exchange was on humankind itself.”
19. What evidence does Mann use to develop this thesis?
He uses Columbus’s original account, 16th century official Spanish documents, and estimates by modern historians.
20. Why did the Spanish conduct a census of the Indians on Hispaniola in 1514? What did the census find regarding the Taino population?
The Spanish conducted a census in order to count the Taino so that they could be assigned to Spanish settlers as laborers. This was part of the encomienda system, whereby a Spanish settler was given a plantation as well as the labor of all the Indians who lived on that plantation. The census-takers found that there were few Taino left, perhaps only about 26,000.
21. According to the author, what two factors caused this change in population? Which cause was the most influential?
The two causes were Spanish cruelty and the introduction of diseases by the Columbian Exchange. The most influential was the introduction of disease.
22. The third sentence in paragraph 2 of this excerpt uses a rhetorical device called asyndeton. Asyndeton is a list of items with conjunctions omitted and can be used to imply that there are more items that could be added to the list. What types of items does the author list using asyndeton? What is the effect?
The author lists diseases, both viruses and bacteria. The effect is a “piling up”, implying that more diseases were brought to Hispaniola as well, but the author may not have the space in the sentence to list them. In fact, other diseases were introduced by the Columbian Exchange, including malaria, yellow fever, whooping cough, chicken pox, the bubonic plague, and leprosy.
23. Why was the introduction of these diseases so devastating for the Taino and not the Spanish explorers?
The Taino had never been exposed to these diseases before and therefore had no natural immunity to stop or control the spread of the disease. The Spanish did have some natural immunity, since the diseases were present in Europe at that time.
24. What is the effect of Mann including the information about the first recorded epidemic, which occurred within one year of Columbus’s arrival?
He reminds the reader that the devastating effects of diseases brought by the Exchange happened almost immediately for the Taino. This conveys the seriousness of the Exchange as well as the power of the diseases in a population with no natural immunity.
From the human perspective, the most dramatic impact of the Columbian Exchange was on humankind itself. Spanish accounts suggest that Hispaniola had a large native population: Colón, for instance, casually described the Taino as “innumerable, for I believe there to be millions upon millions of them.” Las Casas claimed the population to be “more than three million.” Modern researchers have not nailed down the number; estimates range from 60,000 to almost 8,000,000. A careful study in 2003 argued that the true figure was “a few hundred thousand.” No matter what the original number, though, the European impact was horrific. In 1514, twenty-two years after Colon’s first voyage, the Spanish government counted up the Indians on Hispaniola for the purpose of allocating them among colonists as laborers. Census agents fanned the across the island but found only 26,000 Taino. Thirty-four years later, according to one scholarly Spanish resident, fewer than 500 Taino were alive….
Spanish cruelty played its part in the calamity, but its larger cause was the Columbian Exchange. Before Colon none of the epidemic diseases common in Europe and Asia existed in the Americas. The viruses that cause smallpox, influenza, hepatitis, measles, encephalitis, and viral pneumonia; the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, diphtheria, cholera, typhus, scarlet fever, and bacterial meningitis — by a quirk of evolutionary history, all were unknown in the Western Hemisphere. Shipped across the ocean from Europe these maladies consumed Hispaniola’s native population with stunning rapacity. The first recorded epidemic, perhaps due to swine flu, was in 1493….
Joan Vinckeboons, “Map of the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico,” 1639(?)
Mann describes in excerpt three a major change in Taino population on Hispaniola and the effects of this change on the Taino population and the Spanish. But another group was also affected — enslaved Africans. The Spanish used the encomienda system in Hispaniola, whereby conquistadors were given large plantations as well as the Indian slave labor of all who lived on the plantation. Through this system the Spanish moved quickly to enslave Indians, even though the official mission of the Spanish was to Christianize them. In response to pressure from the Catholic Church, in 1542 King Carlos V banned Indian slavery, opening the way for African slaves. Mann writes,
By 1501, seven years after La Isabella’s founding, so many Africans [as slaves] had come to Hispaniola that the alarmed Spanish king and queen instructed the island’s governor not to allow any more to land [but]…the colonists saw that the Africans appeared immune to disease, didn’t have local social networks that would help them escape, and possessed useful skills — many African societies were well known for their ironworking and horsemanship. Slave ships bellied up to the docks of Santo Domingo in ever-greater numbers. The slaves were not as easily controlled as the colonists had hoped [and]…. No longer were Africans slipped into the Americas by the handful. The rise of sugar production [sugar production is very labor intensive] in Mexico and the concurrent rise in Brazil opened the floodgates. Between 1550 and 1650…slave ships ferried across about 650,000 Africans, with the total split more or less equally between Spanish and Portuguese America…. Soon they [Africans] were more ubiquitous [existing everywhere] in the Americas than Europeans, with results the latter never expected. (Mann, p.387–388)
What do you believe might have been some of the “results the latter [the Europeans] never expected”? In what ways can New World slavery be said to be related to the Columbian Exchange? Discuss the possible unintended consequences with your classmates. Use specific examples as evidence.
- menagerie: collection of wild or unusual animals
- alien: foreign, hostile
- depredation: ravages
- bedlam: wild confusion
- entomologist: insect expert
- phenomenon: observable event or fact
- dismayed: alarmed
- speculation: thoughtful opinion
- culprit: villain
- horrific: causing horror
- fanned: spread out
- calamity: great disaster
- quirk: peculiar action
- maladies: chronic diseases
- rapacity: fierce hunger
- Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (New York: Vintage Books, 2012).
- Bouttats, Pieter Balthazar, 1666–1755, engraver. : El almirante Christoral Colon descubre la Isla Española, iy haze poner una Cruz, etc. / P. B. Bouttats fec., Aqua forti.  Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3a10998/?co=cph (accessed September 15, 2014).
- Histoire Naturelle des Indes, Illustrated manuscript. ca. 1586. Bequest of Clara S. Peck, 1983 MA 3900 (fol. 71v–72) The Morgan Library and Museum, New York. http://www.themorgan.org/collection/Histoire-Naturelle-des-Indes/72
- Vinckeboons, Joan. Map of the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Map. [1639?] Pen-and-ink and watercolor. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA http://www.loc.gov/item/2003623402/ (accessed September 15, 2014)
- De insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis [Christopher Columbus discovering America]. Woodcut, 1494. Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Illus. in Incun. 1494 .V47 Vollbehr Coll [Rare Book RR]http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3g04806/?co=cph (accessed September 29, 2014).
- Christopher Columbus leaving Spain to go to America. London : J. Edwards, 1800? 1 print : engraving. Illus. in: America, part 4 / Theodore de Bry, 1528-1598, ed., 1800?, plate VIII. Library of Congress Miscellaneous Items in High Demand Collectionhttp://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/90715316/ (accessed September 29, 2014).
- Christophe Colomb parmi les Indiens / lith. de Turgis. Paris : Vve. Turgis, [between 1850 and 1900]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/93504854/ (accessed September 29, 2014).
- Histoire Naturelle des Indes, Illustrated manuscript. ca. 1586. Bequest of Clara S. Peck, 1983 MA 3900 (fol. 11v–12) The Morgan Library and Museum, New York. http://www.themorgan.org/collection/Histoire-Naturelle-des-Indes/12
America in Class
Jan 21, 2016
by Sean Gibbons on America in Class
Worked extremely well in my World History class. Excellent selection of documents that provided various points of view. Students understood the Columbian Exchange and its implications.
Oct 7, 2015
by Jenny Thomason on America in Class
I love the close questions and the reading excerpts! The review activity is also very beneficial because it provides cross curricular support by embedding the ELAR components!
Oct 5, 2015
by Susan McHugh on America in Class
This lesson was designed to address higher order thinking skills. I was pleased to find that this lesson also connects to the present (question #7). The use of AP strategies is clearly evident in this lesson. It will actively engage students to investigate history through primary source documents. Well done!
Oct 5, 2015
by Melissa Hockaday on America in Class
The Columbian Exchange
Has teacher and student components
Supports Common Core needs for vocabulary and primary/secondary reading and analysis
Easy to use
Oct 5, 2015
by Laura Wakefield on America in Class
The Columbian Exchange
This provides an excellent way to compare a modern account with a primary source accounts. My favorite activity is the review activity that has students match main ideas with the text that supports them. I would like to see this activity put into the pdf versions so they could be printed out by the teacher and given to students to match in a small group activity. This would be a useful addition to all of the interactive activities.
Oct 5, 2015
by Robert Scully on America in Class
This is an excellent introduction to the European involvement in the Americas. I particularly like the detailed close reading questions. The vocabulary pop ups are helpful along with the detailed image list with references.
The analysis of Mann's work is helpful. Overall avery thorough lesson that is structured and user friendly.
Aug 25, 2015
by Trudy Bantle on America in Class
I believe that this is a wonderful primary source resources because it provides
1. Multi facets of the Columbian Exchange
2. Supports the skills of the Common Core (vocabulary, supporting statements with specific lines of the primary source)
3. New vocabulary with the supporting definitions
Aug 12, 2015
by Mishka-gaye Corbitt on America in Class
I think that the material is well written in given consideration to the Common Core/State Standards that are now being implemented. I especially like the "Background questions" because it infuses the language of the way students are assessed within the lessons, as well as, the "Close read" being included in the lesson as a means of ensuring students deeper understanding and ability to manipulate the information being learned. I also like the fact that a variety of resources are already included in the lesson. Finally, I like the inclusion of tiered vocabulary.
Aug 12, 2015
by Michelle Kaighn on America in Class
The Columbian Exchange
This activity works well as a quick analysis to the Columbian Exchange. It is very similar to a recent essay question asked on the AP World exam (2012? 2013?). I use this activity for quick discuss in class then have students answer the AP essay question as a graded assignment.
Aug 12, 2015
by Kelly Hansen on America in Class
The total package
An excellent blend of archival primary and secondary sources to encourage deep critical thinking from students.