I think it could have been more helpful for us to have a little bit more time to prepare for this role-play, but I understand that in this course we have time constraints. I think that if I were going to implement this activity into my classroom I would give the students more time to collaborate. As the teacher, I would take on the "prosecutor" role. I enjoyed this activity because it helps students think critically about the historical event and take into consideration multiple perspectives.
Laura, I agree with you that I would have liked more time to prepare for the roles. I think extending this activity in the classroom would be great because the students could really research their roles by looking at primary sources. By doing this, the students can get really involved in the debate and discussions.
I would have people selected to be the role of the jury but instead of having the jury deliberate in silence I would set the deliberation up as a Socratic circle where the insights and method of deliberation could be experienced as a class. This would allow the whole class the ability to specifically take a more critical look at the "evidence" and decide what is pertinent and what is not in deciding the guilt of the different parties.
The major breakdown was content knowledge: the more we knew about our group and the event as a whole, the more we could have argued and defended ourselves. However, for our class, we were just trying to get a taste for the project, not specifics about Columbus. If I were to do an activity like this with my own students, I would make it an ongoing event with ample preparation time and checkpoints.
I agree with Laura. I think it a classroom it would be very important to practice and model things a few times before actually putting everything together and doing a whole debate. I think that things would end up running smoother and there would be less confusion.
I think it would have been a lot better if we had time to research our roles and practice it a little beforehand in a situation of less importance. I definitely understand the time restraints of this particular class, though. It would work well as a class project, I think it could be really fun!
I thought the role play was very helpful. I believe that I would maybe want to give students the opportunity to research about their person/ group of people along with reading the worksheet from the Rethinking Columbus book. This would give students more insight knowledge that they would be arguing about. The prosecutor would definitely have to be the teacher, and come up with questions beforehand to ask each group. This will make thins easier for the teacher. Overall I think it was a fun activity.
I really liked this activity! I think it was a fun way to get engaged and empathize with the characters. Instead of just reading about it, the students get to put themselves in the story. If we were to do it again, I think the prosecutor should be the teacher to ask the right questions that guide to the point being made. This way the students all get to role play a person in the story.