What our Aztecs lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Aztecs introduces students to the Aztec Civilization, including its history and people. At the end of the lesson, students will have gained an understanding of the Aztec Civilization. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.
Options for Lesson
Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. The only suggested adjustment to this lesson is to focus more on the lesson vocabulary by providing a list and creating an assignment.
The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.
AZTECS LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
The Aztecs lesson plan includes four pages of content. The Aztec civilization existed from the 12th to 16th century in central Mexico, in the place that is now Mexico City. Tenochtitlan was the capital.
Some of the structures that they built eventually sank because the land they built on is swamp land. They built Mexico City on top of the Aztec civilization ruins. If you visit Mexico City today, you can see some of these ruins.
At the time, the Aztecs were the most powerful tribe in all of Mesopotamia. They lost their power in 1521 when the Spanish arrived and conquered them. The Aztec civilization was a great civilization with millions of people and impressive advances in technology and other aspects.
The Aztec society had distinct classes of people based on wealth. The rich people owned slaves, lived in beautiful brick homes, took daily steam baths, wore feathers, and carried feather fans as a sign of their wealth. The poor people lived in huts, grew their food in gardens, worked long hours as farmers, and could not wear feathers.
Everyday Life – Education, Laws, Floating Gardens, War, Art
All children in the Aztec society attended school, even slaves. Schools primarily taught the rules and behaviors that everyone had to follow. They had very strict laws. If you broke a law, they could sentence you to death. Some of these laws included not mocking old, sick, or punished people; no complaining or interrupting; no wry facial expressions; and only noble people can carry fans. The land that the Aztecs lived on was not good for farming, so they learned to use floating gardens. They planted these gardens on floating rafts tethered to a spot in the water.
The Aztecs often went to war, and always won. Their aim was not to kill people, but to collect them alive to sacrifice to their gods later. They used simple weapons, like the atlatl, which could throw a long dart at close range. Aztecs also loved art and music. The lesson shows a few examples of Aztec art.
The Aztec people were very religious. Their beliefs drove them and their decisions. They thought that worshipping their Gods incorrectly could lead to the Gods punishing them. They build large temples, which held up to 8,000 people. Priests were powerful, second in status to only the emperor.
The Aztecs had more than 2,000 gods. Each of them had their own names, stories, and families. All aspects of nature had their own god, like the seeds, harvest, wind, rain, and plants.
They had special rituals for birth, death, prosperity, and more. Some of the rituals we know the most about are the ones related to human sacrifice. They believed that these sacrifices kept the Gods happy and that the Gods wanted them to sacrifice humans and other living creatures to feed the sun and Earth. They mostly sacrificed prisoners of war, but a priest would sometimes decide to sacrifice a normal citizen.
One main Aztec God was Xochiquetzal. She was the goddess of love, youth, and beauty. She was beautiful, wore feathers and a crown of flowers, and loved art and music. The rain god Tlaloc was her husband and the corn god was her son. Both humans and other Gods loved her.
The Aztecs had many rituals to honor her. At the beginning of the harvest season each year, people came to her temple to confess their sins to her. They brought a piece of straw for each sin. They punched a hole in their tongue, looped the straw through, and then threw it on a pile to purify themselves for the year.
AZTECS LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Aztecs lesson plan includes four worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, a homework assignment, and a quiz. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.
AZTEC GOD ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
The activity worksheet asks students to look at a picture of an Aztec God and come up with some information about him based on what they know about the Aztec civilization. After creating their own story, they will compare it with the real background of the god.
TOURISM PRACTICE WORKSHEET
For the practice worksheet, students will imagine that they work for the Aztec department of tourism and need to convince people to visit on their vacation. They will write a persuasive paragraph about the culture, highlighting the positive and important aspects of their society.
AZTECS HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
The homework assignment asks students to research the Aztecs at home and choose an interesting fact or piece of information to share during class. They will write their interested fact down, in one or two sentences, and will draw a matching picture to share and hang up on the classroom wall.
This lesson includes a quiz, which you can use to the test your students’ understanding of the lesson material. For the quiz, students will choose the correct answer or give a brief answer in the provided space for ten questions about the lesson.
Worksheet Answer Keys
This lesson plan includes answer keys for the quiz. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.