Step 2: Teach Lesson
Ask the student, What do you know about Columbus? Have a brief discussion about the story of Columbus and why he is so
Ask the student, What do you think “discovered” means? Allow the student to respond.
Point out that while people say that Columbus “discovered” America, there were already people in America with families and
communities who called it their home.
When Columbus met these first Americans, it was a moment of “first contact” for both the Indians and the Europeans. Explain that,
first contact was an exchange of cultures and ideas; you might want to briefly mention some of the foods and animals that would
have been exchanged between the Indians and the Europeans (e.g. Indians: corn, potatoes, tomatoes; Europeans: wheat, horses,
That contact changed the cultures of both the Europeans and the Indians. Explain that, for native people, this process often
led to very difficult changes, as Europeans brought diseases that the Indians had never encountered and, thus, for which
they had no immunities. In addition, European settlers often treated the Indians very badly. Point out that, while first contact
was an enormously challenging process for all Indian communities, native people survived.
Ask the student, Think about what “first contact” might have been like for the Indians living in what is now Utah?
Show them the Map of the Ancestral Lands of Utah’s Indians. Give them the blank map of Utah, and have them draw in the ancestral
territory of each tribe and fill in each of those territories with a different color. Using information in the At a Glance
, the brief histories
of each tribe, and material from the films, explain what life was like for each of Utah’s tribes.
Next, show the students the Map of European Expansion into of the Great Basin
. Have them draw in and label the routes that
explorers and settlers from Spain and the United States took through Utah.