Monday, October 13, 2014

Who Were the First Europeans to Hit the Americas?

Who were the first Europeans to come to the Americas - Columbus, Erikson or the Irish?  So this NPR piece is more background for teachers than something you might give your students, but nonetheless it is interesting.  Most debunk the legend of the Irish sailors, but I just learned of it this summer myself.  But we all know of the Vikings and should they be considered the first or should we go with Columbus who gets the credit since others followed because of his voyages.  Asking your students is a good way to have them think more clearly what "first" means.  Also you could ask why, for so long the Native Americans were overlooked?  While we are at it you could also show the Mercator map and ask why Europe is in the bull's eye and tie that to why Columbus was given so much credit.  After all those writing history get to shape it even years after it might have been disproved.

By the way, CNN has a very balanced look today at Columbus

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