Guidelines for Columbus Day Group Work

Your group is responsible for putting together a class presentation about Columbus Day and uploading a reference databank to the class Blackboard. This presentation can take many forms. You could have each member of the group talk to the class, or you could just have a spokesperson report to us. You can show a short video, give a power point presentation, play a tape, or anything else that will be informing and interesting for your classmates. You can hand out materials to the class or take us on a tour of a website. Surprise us, amaze us, dazzle us with your brilliance. But remember, all the information you'll be sharing with us should help in the construction of your major papers.

The information you need to gather and relay to the class will involve four categories:

1) History, origins, and evolution of the holiday - Find out as much information as possible about how America came to commemorate Columbus Day. This will, of course, include material about the life of Columbus and any other relevant information pertaining to the holiday. Compile a list of books, journal articles, newspaper articles, or any other relevant source materials. Be sure to include the title, the author's name, and the publication information. You must provide a minimum of ten source materials.

2) Current traditions and observances - You'll want to research how national and local communities observe the holiday (this includes any special events conducted by Lehigh). Be sure to look into any controversies surrounding these celebrations. You'll also need to investigate the Quincentenary celebrations and the debates that ensued. Tell us where and how you got your information. That means compiling a list of sources that we can access.

3) Educational approaches to the holiday - I've made arrangements with several local schools so that you can see how Columbus and the holiday are handled in the classroom. Check out current textbooks to see what they have to say about Columbus. Sit in on a class, and see what they're up to. If you can access any of your old textbooks or contact former teachers, that would help. Be sure to check out the Eric database for articles dealing with this topic, and the Internet has a variety of "teaching materials" devoted to Columbus.

4) Popular Culture texts related to the holidays - Compile a list of literature, films, television programs, artwork, and music devoted to Columbus or Columbus Day. You must have a minimum of ten novels and academic articles/essays that address the topic. You must have a minimum of ten websites pertaining to the topic (all websites must be authored or they're worthless to us). Include a brief description of each source and website that summarizes what information can be found there. Be selective. Don't report on the first ten articles or websites you find. Choose the best materials that will help you and your classmates write your papers.

Be sure that you investigate the following topics during your research:

1) The Quincentenary

2) The artwork devoted to Columbus in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

3) The Knights of Columbus

4) Take a look at Chris Robe's webpage ( devoted to Columbus and the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise

5) The "discovery" of tobacco by Columbus and its impact on American/European culture

6) The Columbian Exposition of 1893