When you think of Italian food what do you think of? How about when you think of Ireland, what food do you think of as their number one item? I’m betting you said tomatoes and potatoes, right? Did you know those were brought over from the New World?
What about American Indians, how do you imagine them? Do you imagine them on horseback? Horses were brought over from the Old World.
What is the Great Columbian Exchange?
The Great Columbian Exchange refers to the exchange of goods between the Old and New Worlds. The Great Exchange refers to the exchange that happened when Jesus took our sin on the cross, so if you feel like googling this topic, make sure to type in “Great Exchange Columbus” or Columbian Exchange, because otherwise you will get several dozen densely worded theological treatises (which I will admit greatly interested me).
What our Columbian Exchange Activity looked like
I gave each of the kids a printout and had them guess which items came from which continent. They did fairly decently on the first try putting items in the correct spot.
Then we read The Columbian Exchange website and got more information.
That let them correct their errors, and they proceeded to glue down their work.
The fun discussion afterwards about the Great Exchange
Going back to the introduction, we associate certain items with certain cultures.
I challenged them to think of Italian food without tomatoes. We started listing off all of the foods they wouldn’t have. It was an impressive list.
Mostly unrelated side note, but when tomatoes were first brought over people thought they were poisonous because of how they interacted with the pewter plates.
Then we started talking about horses. We talked about the native horses to the Americas. Technically they’re not native, but they were bred here, so they are considered native horses. It intrigues me the number of breeds created in the last 200 years. There’s also the ones people think of as breeds, but aren’t. Paint horses, that’s a color type. Palominos, despite several attempts they are still not a recognized breed because the color does not breed true. I find that fascinating. It’s also rather unrelated to the Great Exchange.
Earlier this week I shared an elementary aged Christopher Columbus writing and presentation, but tomorrow I’m going to share a high school Christopher Columbus writing assignment.