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The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange

Challenges & Opportunities

Available to teachers only as part of the Teaching The Columbian Exchange Teacher Pass


Teaching The Columbian Exchange Teacher Pass includes:

  • Assignments & Activities
  • Reading Quizzes
  • Current Events & Pop Culture articles
  • Discussion & Essay Questions
  • Challenges & Opportunities
  • Related Readings in Literature & History

Sample of Challenges & Opportunities


Many students learn in the primary grades that Christopher Columbus defied conventional wisdom about the shape of the world, boldly set forth on a voyage of discovery, and set Europe on a path towards global colonization. Other students may have learned that Columbus left a more malevolent wake—that he introduced slavery to the New World and committed genocide against its native peoples.

Neither narrative is all that accurate. In fact, in this unit we largely remove Columbus from the “Columbian Exchange” in order to focus more on ecology. As we say in our introductory summary to this learning guide: