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History Students Take Learning On The Road

Students in Molly Pond’s and Megan Stoecklin’s World History classes visited the Christopher Columbus Monument in Hartford on Tuesday, October 1, as part of their study of early European exploration.

The students were asked to observe the monument and think critically about their observations in the context of when and why the monument was dedicated, and what the monument says —or said — about society’s values, especially in the context of what we now know about the impact of European exploration on the indigenous people of the lands they explored. Molly and Meg posed discussion questions to their students during the trip, including challenging them to think about how Columbus is depicted and why the Italian American citizens of Hartford gave the city this statue.

For a culminating assignment, the students will write letters to the Hartford City Council to answer the question, “What should be done with the Christopher Columbus monument in Hartford?” and support their positions with evidence in the form of primary and secondary sources, informed by their observations of the monument itself.