The learning goals of this DBQ enable students to formulate a viewpoint about a crucial point in world history through opposing perspectives. Students can interpret primary documents, architecture, and more modern images in order to obtain the European viewpoint as well as the equally important Native American resident perspective. Students will enhance their primary document interpretation skills and their ability to interpret source validity.
This DBQ project achieves these goals, though certain images could be enhanced and authenticated more precisely in order to give students enough information to critically analyze without giving too much information. Some prompts could include more information depending on the target audience and their prior contact with the subject matter.
As a thinking process, the DBQ serves as a strong element to any social studies lesson. The difficultly between including too much or too little information can be tricky. Selecting the proper document to present to students for analysis is the keystone to this method. DBQ design is delicate business, but it allows for freedom to reach common goals.
How did cultural exchange occur between Native American residents and European conquerors upon first contact?
This is the question I want my students to tackle. By utilizing documents and artifacts from both sides of the cultural exchange, students will be able to develop a multi-perspective viewpoint on European/Native American contact as opposed to the Eurocentric viewpoint that most students in the U.S. experience.
For this academic adventure, students will look at European exploration documents (Columbus’ journal entries, European artists’ depictions of initial contact, financial records, etc.) and Native American resident documents (Aztec interpretations, oral history that has since been written, paintings depicting a Native American perspective, etc.). Students will explore an equal number of European and Native American documents. These documents will not be nation-specific, but will look at contact across the North American and South American Atlantic Coast.
The exercise will allow students to develop a more complete view of this segment of history by developing perspectives from various lenses. Students can explore narratives from both sides, find textual and visual evidence to show these statements, and interpret these observations in order to develop their worldview more completely.
Through group discussions and written analysis, students will be able to share their experiences with these documents and artifacts.
Through this lesson study, I saw my thought process through the perspective of other people. After explaining my lesson’s content, objective, and process, I found major gaps because peer feedback provided angles that I previously overlooked.
I hope other students found this concept useful. I’m sure I noticed aspects of my partner’s lesson plan that he didn’t originally see. From this multi-perspective lens of a single lesson plan, I was able to better approach my lesson’s effectiveness.
I gleaned ideas from other students’ lesson plans as well. By pairing with classmates with like-minded units and strategies, I found ways to apply their ideas to my lesson’s situation.
During the large class discussion, I grasped one concept in particular: what is the objective that I want my students to reach? What is the point of a lesson if the end result doesn’t reflect a learning goal?
I enjoyed the varied teaching approaches that the class took. Some focused on a lecture approach, while some wanted to utilize a student-centered activity.
While the concise explanation of an individual lesson seemed difficult for some, I think this speaks to our excitement as educators to implement our lesson creativity in the classroom.
In short, this activity worked. I was able to see lesson brainstorming from kindred subjects, yet from different perspectives. Some ideas don’t fit my style, while others will enhance my vision as I advance as an educator.