The geography of the Americas, the Maya, the Inca, the Aztec
The Americas unit contains 4 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in The Americas Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
The Americas: Geography and Earliest Civilizations
Students are introduced to the geography and earliest civilizations of the Americas by looking at a map. They learn how the Americas were originally populated and where the earliest civilizations developed. Then, they focus on the Olmec civilization‚Äîthe earliest civilization in the Americas. Finally, they compare the emergence of civilizations in the Americas with those in the four early river valley civilizations.
Students are introduced to the Maya civilization by learning about El Castillo in Chichen Itza. Then they learn about where the Maya civilization started and spread as well as some of its prominent features. Next, they explore and explain theories on what led to the end of the Maya civilization. Finally, they learn about Maya descendants today and consider what their own future descendants might think about society today.
Students explore the Aztec civilization. They learn about the unique features of Tenochtitlan, the religion, and the social structure. Then, they identify reasons for the fall of the empire. Finally, they summarize the contributions of the Aztec civilization by writing a letter in support of an Aztec Civilization Festival.
Students are introduced to the Inca Empire by first exploring Machu Picchu. Then they learn about various elements of life in the Inca Empire. Next, they focus on the Spanish conquest of the empire by Francisco Pizarro and explain how he was able do it with so few soldiers. Finally, they explain what they would most like to see and understand about Machu Picchu.