©BCP&CKF DRAFT
 

Fifth Grade - History - Overview - September

Overview
During the month of September, students are taught about the ancient civilizations of South America: the Aztec, Inca and Maya. The first lesson introduces students to the geography of South America and prompts them to think about how we know about the civilizations that once existed there. Next, a mask base is made of either paper or paper mache. Then, during each successive lesson, the class draws or paints symbols of the civilization learned about on that day in one third of the mask. By the end of the month, each third of the mask has been decorated with symbols from one of the three civilizations, and the masks may be displayed along with the keys describing the meaning of each of the symbols. Related to this subject is Lesson 4 of the Visual Arts lessons for September, which covers the Incan system of roads and architecture.
 

Fifth Grade - History - Lesson 1 - Central and South America and their Ancient Civilizations (Introductory Lesson)

Objectives
Identify and locate Central America and South America on a map.

Label the Amazon River, Andes Mountains, and the two largest countries in South America: Brazil and Argentina.

Hypothesize how we know about ancient civilizations.

Describe ways in which people have found out about these ancient civilizations.
 

Materials

Classroom size world map, showing political borders

A blank map, with political borders, of Central and South America, one for each student (attached)
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Cheney, Glenn Alan. The Amazon. New York: Franklin Watts, 1984. This book contains text, interspersed with black and white photos, on the people, history, ecology and river of the Amazon region.

Deltenre, Chantal and Martine Noblet. Peru and the Andean Countries. Hong Kong: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1994. The text of this book is in an appealing and easy to read "notebook" format with highlighted facts. There are lots of interesting photographs of the people and geography of the Andes, and the book is organized by page by page to answer specific questions it poses, such as "What is the Mystery of the Nazca?"

Georges, D.V. A New True Book: South America. Chicago: Children's Press, 1986. This book is easy reading and has excellent general information on South America, including information on the Amazon River and Andes Mountains.

McIntyre, Loren. Exploring South America. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1990. This is a book full of amazing, large photographs of the land, people and animals of South America. It has sections specifically on the Amazon River and Andes Mountains.
 

Teacher Background

In this lesson, students are familiarized with the location of Central and South America, and the location of the most prominent land features and countries of this region. Students are then prompted to think about how we might find out about the people who once lived in this area. Students have been introduced to and have reviewed the following information in earlier grades: the continents; the Pacific Ocean; the Gulf of Mexico; the Andes Mountain Range. The term "civilization" was introduced in First Grade.
 

Procedures.

Engage students in this visualization exercise: Tell them that today, they are going to take an imaginary plane trip. Have them close their eyes, or just imagine, as you describe boarding, take off, and the land features below looking smaller and smaller. Tell them that the plane is headed south, toward Florida. Once over Florida, the plane heads west, across the Gulf of

Mexico and is soon over a narrow strip of land in between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Ask: Does anyone know what this strip of land is called? (Central America) Show on the large wall map where Central America is. Tell students that the plane is now headed south, and a little east, and is over a very large area of land, which is in fact a continent. Ask: Does anyone know what continent this is? (South America) Show students on the wall map where South America is located.

Tell students that for the next several history lessons, we will be focusing on South and Central America. We will put our imaginary plane trip on "pause" to make sure that everyone knows where these two areas of land are. Pass out blank political maps of this region. Instruct students to label the appropriate land masses Central America and South America. They should write these names using all capitals, keeping letter size small. Ask: Why are these areas obviously named the way they are? (Central America because it is in the center, between North and South America, and South America because it is further south than Central and North America)

Tell students that we will now resume our plane ride. We are now high above South America, and we want to get a closer look at this continent. We begin flying lower over the Northeast corner of this continent. It is very, very green. Ask: Why do you think it is so green? (due to tropical rain forest -- the Amazon jungle) Winding its way through this green is something that looks like a long, blue ribbon. Ask: What might this be? (a river) Ask: Which one? (the Amazon) Using the large wall map as a guide, have students mark the location of the Amazon River on their maps, using dashed lines, and label it.

Resume the plane trip, this time heading west, almost to the western coast of South America. Now, as we look below, we see large humps in the landscape, some with white tops. Ask: What might these be? (mountains) Ask: Which ones? (the Andes) We want to know how far these mountains stretch, so we fly along them, heading south and staying next to the coastline, and discover that they reach down to the tip of the continent. Again, using the large wall map as a guide, have students use this symbol: ^^^^ to mark the location of the Andes and label them on their own maps.

Now we will be landing our imaginary plane in one of the two largest countries in South America. Ask: Would anyone like to guess what the two largest countries in South America are? (Brazil and Argentina) Have a student locate these two countries on the large wall map, then, using it as a reference, have students label Brazil and Argentina on their own maps, capitalizing the first letter in each name only. These maps should then be collected for future reference in the lesson.

Tell students that now that we have "landed" in South America, we need to get started on our assignment: to find out about the ancient civilizations that existed in South America. Emphasize to the students how long ago these civilizations existed. There may be no written records of the time, and there definitely won't be anyone who can remember what it was like. Ask students what they recall in terms of the definition of the meaning of the term civilization. (The teacher may want to review the definition of civilization, as defined in First Grade: a group of people who build cities, have religious belief and make rules and laws. Civilizations often have their own written language, literature and art.)

Have students think-pair-share how they would get started, or go about, finding information on these ancient civilizations. Tell them that they can use any resources written or discovered by others, and may also find out about the civilizations by doing the primary research themselves. After students have shared in pairs, have them share ideas with the class. If not thought of by the students, elicit these sources: archaeological findings; oral histories; written histories; ancient artifacts and writings; writings by European missionaries and explorers. Discuss with students: What are the advantages of each of these sources? (accessibility, reliability, etc.) What are the disadvantages of each of these sources? (racial/cultural bias, incomplete artifacts, etc.)

End class with this summary/assessment: Have students again take out their maps of Central and South America. Play this game of "Simon Says" using their maps and voices.

Simon says, "Put your right pointer finger on Central America."

Simon says, "Take this same finger and now place it anywhere on South America."

Simon says, " Take your finger off South America."

"Place your right thumb on the Amazon River." (Remind students that you didn't say "Simon says," and check to see if you caught anyone!)

Simon says, "Place your right thumb on the Amazon River."

Simon says, "Move your right thumb so that it is on the Andes Mountain Range."

"Put your left thumb in Brazil." (Again, check to see if you caught anyone!)

Simon says, "Place your left thumb on Brazil."

Simon says, "Whisper the name of the other large country in South America to the person next to you." (Argentina)

Simon says, "Move your left thumb so that it is on Argentina."

Simon says, "Take both thumbs off of the map, turn the map over, and write on the back as many ways as you can think of that people may find out about the ancient civilizations in this region."

Congratulate students on their success in the game and tell them that in the next lesson, we will begin to look in detail at one of the ancient civilizations that once existed in this region.

Collect and save the maps to use as an assessment tool and for future reference.
 

Suggested Follow-Up Activities

Instruct students to write in a journal whether they would prefer a backpacking trip in the Andes or a canoe trip down the Amazon River, and give reasons why. Have them illustrate their choice.

Individually or in small groups, students may enjoy going to the library, or using classroom resources, to research the job of an archaeologist. They should answer the following questions, and if time permits, prepare a presentation for the class. What do archaeologists do? Where do they work? How does their work help us? Is this a job you'd like to have? Why or why not?
 

Fifth Grade - History - Lesson 2 - Preparation for making Inca, Aztec and Mayan masks
 

IMPORTANT NOTE: There should be a time span of at least five days between this lesson and the following lesson to allow the glue in the paper mache mixture to dry.
 

Objective

Work with a partner to prepare the base of a paper mache mask.
 

Alternative objective: prepare the base of a paper mask.
 

Materials

Classroom size map showing Central and South America

A round balloon for each pair of students

Fungicide-free wallpaper paste, or the homemade variety as described in teacher background

A pair of scissors for each student

A section of old newspaper for each pair of students

One straight pin

A bowl big enough to hold the base of an inflated balloon for each pair (an old margarine tub should work fine)

Vaseline

Water

Craft knife for teacher (for optional follow-up activities)
 

Alternative materials:

Classroom size map showing Central and South America

A large sheet of heavy weight paper for each student

Scissors for each student

Model of paper mask, attached
 

Suggested Books

Reference Books

Morris, Ting and Neil. Sticky Fingers Masks. New York, NY: Franklin Watts, 1993.

This book gives easy instructions for making paper mache masks.

Terzian, Alexandra M. The Kids' Multicultural Art Book. Charlotte, VT: Williamson Publishing, 1993. There are many Mexican and Central American art activities students can do described in this book.
 

Teacher Background

In this lesson, students will begin a paper mache mask in pairs. See accompanying mask model shape. The mask will later be painted with symbols of the Inca, Aztec and Maya civilizations. This is an active lesson in which students are expected to get their hands messy, and ample time should be allowed for clean-up. You should check carefully any health hazards posed to any student through skin contact with wallpaper glue. If you prefer, instead of buying wallpaper glue, you can make its equivalent by mixing cup flour with cup water, or cup white glue with cup water. There should be a time span of at least five days between this lesson and the following lesson to allow time for the glue to dry. Additionally, there are suggested follow-up activities that, if done by you, will allow students to begin the next important step of the mask-making process right away in the following lesson.

If you have reservations about doing paper mache with your class, or are unable to do it, an alternative activity exists. In the alternative, students make a paper mask which is cut and stapled into a three dimensional shape once it has been decorated. See the accompanying paper mask model shape.
 

Procedure

Review the content of the last lesson by having students point out on the large wall map the location of: Central America; South America; the Andes Mountains; the Amazon River; Brazil; Argentina. Students should also be asked to remind one another of the various ways we can find out about the ancient civilizations that once existed in this region.

Tell students that today, we will begin a mask-making project that will allow us to display what we learn about these civilizations. Have students think-pair-share how and when we use masks in our own civilization. They should recall lessons in previous grades. Once pairs have shared with one another, have pairs share with the class. Possible responses include: Halloween; Mardi Gras; costume parties. Remind students of other uses previously learned that include a role in story telling and in religious rites and ceremonies. Explain to students that throughout time, masks have been used by many different civilizations for many different reasons. As we begin to make our masks today, they should be thinking about how other civilizations may have used masks.

Put students into pairs for this activity. Pass out the balloons to pairs, and have one student in each pair blow it up and knot the bottom. Once the balloon has been blown up, pairs should coat it with Vaseline, and set it in the bowl, knotted end down. Pairs should then tear or cut up the old newspaper into strips about one inch wide.

As this next step is messy, you may want to set up several stations around the room where pairs can gather to accomplish it. Mix the wallpaper glue with water according to the package directions, or mix the homemade equivalent. Students should then dip individual strips of newspaper into the mixture and pull the strip between two fingers to remove any lumps and the excess. Students should then cover the balloon with at least five layers of the coated strips. Once this has been done, the balloons should be very carefully placed in an out-of-the-way corner of the room to dry.

After clean-up, engage students in a discussion. Ask: At the beginning of class, I asked you to think about what uses other civilizations may have had for masks. What ideas did you come up with? Ask: Can you predict how the ancient civilizations of Central and South America may have used masks? Ask: How else do you think masks could be made? Tell students that in the next lesson, they will continue to work on their masks, and will find out how they were used in one ancient Central American civilization.
 

Alternative Procedure:

After following the above procedure through the first two paragraphs, pass out the large sheets of paper to the students. Instruct students to draw a large outline of a face shape on the paper, then cut it out. Next, students should lightly draw with a pencil two eye shapes. Next to the each eye shape, a triangle should be drawn that points toward the eye and extends to the edge of the mask. (See the illustration below.) Nothing will be drawn within these triangles, as one side of each will eventually be cut and stapled behind the mask to give it a three-dimensional effect. Students should then lightly draw with pencil a mouth shape. You may then resume the above procedure at the last paragraph.

Mask Preparation for Following Lessons

If you did the paper mache mask, before the beginning of the next lesson, to save time, you may wish to go ahead and pop the balloons, using a pin. (Make sure that the paper strips are dry before doing this.) You may also wish to go ahead and cut the balloon-shaped paper mache molds exactly in half, creating two masks from each one. The option exists either to cut out holes for eyes and nose, or to draw them on the mask. If the former is what you would prefer to do, you may wish to do this cutting, using a craft knife, before students receive the masks back in the following lesson. So that students may begin to paint symbols on their paper mache masks in the next lesson, paint a base coat of white or some other neutral color on each mask once the paper mache has dried.
 

Fifth Grade - History - Lesson 3 - Mayan Civilization
 

Objectives

Locate the site of the Mayan civilization.

Choose symbols to represent the accomplishments of the Maya.

Draw the symbols on a mask.

Describe what the symbols represent.
 

Materials

Classroom size map of Central and South America

Maps of Central and South America made by each student in Lesson 1

A sentence strip

Paints or markers

Lined paper

Masks (either paper mache or paper) made in Lesson 2

Picture of glyph, attached

Pictures of ancient Mayan pyramids and temples from the books listed below
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Baquedano, Elizabeth. Eyewitness Books: Aztecs, Inca & Maya. New York: Knopf, 1993. This book is full of pictures of artifacts of Mayan civilization.

McKissack, Patricia. A New True Book: The Maya. Chicago: Children's Press, 1992. There are photos of both artifacts and modern-day descendants of the Maya, as well as photos of the topography of the area in which the Maya lived. The text accompanying the pictures is easy reading.

Mason, Antony. The Children's Atlas of Civilizations. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, 1994. Within this book is an excellent map showing the location of the Mayan civilization, including its prominent cities, as well as photos of the area and artifacts found there.

Nicholson, Robert. The Maya. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1994. There is not much text within this book; it is composed mainly of photos of artifacts and illustrations of what daily life for the Maya would have looked like. There is a Mayan folktale at the end, "The Hero Twins Revenge," which could be read aloud. Also included are activities students may like to try at home, such as making traditional Mayan food.

Teacher Resource

Hirsch, E.D.What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell Publishing, 1993. This book contains good background information on the Maya.

Matthies, Susanna. Egyptians, Maya, Minoans. Santa Barbara, CA: The Learning Works, Inc., 1986. This teacher resource book has many suggestions for activities to further students' understanding of the Mayan civilization.

Read Aloud

Dupre, Judith. The Mouse Bride. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. This is a picture book of a Mayan folk tale.

Lattimore, Deborah N. Why There is No Arguing in Heaven, A Mayan Myth. Mexico: Harper Collins Publisher, 1989. There are terrific illustrations of Mayan glyphs in the front of this picture book, and under each glyph is an explanation of what it meant.

Wisniewski, David. Rain Player. New York: Clarion Books, 1991. This is a picture book about a pok-a-tok (a very strenuous Mayan game played with a ball) player with cut paper illustrations.
 

Teacher Background

In this lesson, students are given an overview of Mayan civilization and are asked to choose symbols to represent its major accomplishments. Students were introduced to the Mayan civilization in the First Grade. If paper mache masks were made in the last lesson, these symbols will then be painted onto a third of each mask, reserving two thirds for the remaining ancient civilizations to be covered, Inca and Aztec. If plain paper masks were made, the chosen symbols may be either painted or drawn on a third. Each student is then asked to justify his or her choice of symbols and explain what the symbols represent.

A time line is also begun in this lesson, which will be further explained and expanded in lessons to come. It is suggested that the time line be placed at the top of the classroom wall, just below the ceiling, so that it can remain in place as it is added to and discussed by students. Sentence strips will work well as a base for the time line, and can easily be joined as the time line grows in length through the year.
 

Procedure

Pass out to students the maps started in lesson one, of Central and South America. Tell them that today, we will be learning about one ancient civilization that existed in this region, the Maya. Write Maya on the board, pronounce it, and have the students repeat it back. Show students on the classroom size map where the Maya once lived, and have students lightly shade in this area on their own maps (southern Mexico and northern Central America, in the area of Guatemala). Students should then begin a map key on their maps, with the first entry showing that the lightly shaded area represents the region in which the Maya once lived. Explain to students that the people living in this area today are descendants of the ancient Mayans.

Tell students that as we discuss the Maya today, they should be thinking about possible symbols of this civilization's characteristics and accomplishments. If necessary, engage students in a brief discussion of what symbols are. The were introduced to symbols in Kindergarten, and were again exposed to this concept in First Grade. Elicit a definition of what symbols are: things we look at that stand for some ideas, thoughts or beliefs. Then, discuss examples of symbols with students. For example, Ask: What might be symbols of school? (pencils, textbooks, rulers, etc.) Encourage students to think in an abstract manner. Ask: What could be symbols of a basketball game? (high top sneakers, the word "swoosh" representing the sound of a basket made, a person leaping through the air, etc.) Once you are confident that students understand the meaning of the word "symbol," continue with the discussion of the Maya.

Tell students that the Maya lived many years ago - from 250 to 900 A.D.. Write Maya in large letters on the left hand side of a sentence strip, and under it write 250-900 A.D. Tell students that life was very different at this time. If you needed food, you could not go to the local grocery store and buy some more. People had to grow their own food, and for many years this is what everyone's job was: to grow or hunt food. The Maya, however, became very good at growing food, such as squash, beans, sweet potatoes, chili peppers and corn. They became so good at farming, in fact, that one person could grow enough to feed both himself or herself and others. This meant that some people could have jobs that did not have to do with getting food.
 

Discuss the concept of job specialization with students. Ask: What jobs do you think the Mayan people created for those not farming? (weavers, architects, artists, priests) Explain to students that architects are people who design buildings. Mayan architects designed huge pyramids with temples at the top. So that students get a general idea of what these pyramids looked like, show a picture from one of the books suggested above, or draw on the board a four-sided pyramid, with steps on the front leading to a small rectangular building on top. Ask: What do you think the Maya used these pyramids for? (religious ceremonies) Explain that religion was very important to the Maya and the religious leaders, priests, made many of the decisions about how Mayan cities were built and governed. The Mayan priests also had several important accomplishments. To record Mayan history, they developed a system of hieroglyphic writing. Remind students of the Mayan stellae they made in First Grade, and of the picture-symbols they drew on them. Explain to the students that the Mayan glyphs were groups of pictures that stood for sounds, words, ideas and events. Use the accompanying picture to show students the style of Mayan glyphs. In addition to writing, Mayan priests developed knowledge of astronomy, which allowed them to create a 365 day calendar, and to predict when the rainy season would come. Ask: How do you think this could have helped the farmers? Finally, Mayan priests developed a system of mathematics, and were one of the first groups of people to use the concept of zero.

Next, ask students to brainstorm ideas for symbols that could stand for the Mayan civilization. If not given, elicit from students symbols of the major Mayan accomplishments: architecture, astronomy, mathematics, writing. Write all suggestions on the board, then pass out the paper or paper mache masks. Explain to students that on one third of this mask, they will draw or paint symbols of the Mayan civilization. They may use whatever symbols they would like, but should be prepared to explain their choices and what they have to do with Mayan civilization. If using paper mache masks, have students do a quick outline on them, using a pencil, of where they would like for the eye holes to go, unless they have already been cut by the teacher. Then, show students how the masks will be divided into thirds.

In the Mayan third, students should begin to paint or draw symbols of Mayan civilization. If using plain paper masks, remind students that no drawing should be done in the triangle drawn next to the eye. (One side of it will be cut and then the triangle stapled under the mask to make it three-dimensional.) It is suggested that the teacher have a paint center at the back of the room, and that he or she calls small groups back to paint their symbols while the rest of the class begins to work on the explanation of the symbols to be put on the mask. Groups can then rotate writing and painting. To write the key, on a separate sheet of paper they should explain what each symbol stands for and why it was chosen. Students may either do this in complete sentences, or may create a key to the symbols.

To summarize, have students share with the class what symbols they chose and why. Ask: Where did the ancient Maya live? (Southern Mexico and northern Central America) Ask: If someone were to ask you what were four of their greatest accomplishments, what would you say? (building of temples and pyramids, a system of writing, knowledge of astronomy that allowed them to develop a calendar, and a system of mathematics that included the use of the number zero)
 

Fifth Grade - History - Lesson 3 - Mayan Civilization
 

Suggested Follow-Up Activities

Students, using the suggested books, could do further reading on Mayan glyphs. Then, they could design their own glyphs to represent words, ideas or events that occur in their own lives. Display these modern-day glyphs and ask other students to try to decipher their meaning.

Many of the foods the Mayans ate are readily available to us today. Checking first for food allergies, organize a sampling of Mayan foods. You might want to include: squash, beans, sweet potatoes, chili peppers and corn.

In the next lesson, items will be added to the time line begun on the sentence strip today, so store this for future use.
 

Fifth Grade - History - Lesson 4 - The Aztec Civilization
 

Objectives

Locate the site of the ancient Aztec civilization.

Select symbols to represent the major accomplishments of the Aztec civilization.

Draw or paint the chosen symbols onto a mask.

Describe what the symbols represent.
 

Materials

Classroom size map of Central and South America

Maps of Central and South America begun in Lesson 1

The sentence strip with the Mayan information on it, written in Lesson 3

Paints or markers

Lined paper

Masks (either paper mache or paper) made in Lesson 2
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Baquedano, Elizabeth. Eyewitness Books: Aztecs, Inca & Maya. New York: Knopf, 1993. This book is full of pictures of artifacts of Aztec civilization.

Mason, Antony. The Children's Atlas of Civilizations. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, 1994. Within this book is an excellent map showing the location of the Aztec civilization, including its prominent cities, as well as photos of the area and artifacts found there.

McKissack, Patricia. A New True Book: The Aztec. Chicago: Children's Press, 1992. There are photos of artifacts and the topography of the region in which the Aztecs lived. The text accompanying the pictures is easy reading.

Nicholson, Robert and Claire Watts. The Aztecs. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1994. There is not much text within this book; it is mainly composed of photos of artifacts and illustrations of what daily life for the Aztec would have looked like. There is an Aztec folktale at the end, "Quetzacoatl Gives Food to the People," which could be read aloud. Also included are activities students may like to try at home, such as making traditional Aztec food.

Wood, Tim. The Aztecs. New York: Penguin Books, 1992. There are super illustrations in this book of what Aztec life would have looked like. Also included are four "see-through" scenes which allow students to lift up a panel to see a cross-section diagram of what the inside of an Aztec home, pyramid and temple would have looked like.

Read Aloud

Lattimore, Deborah N. The Flame of Peace. Mexico: Harper-Trophy, 1987. This is a picture book of an Aztec folktale.

Teacher Resource

Hirsch, E.D. What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell Publishing, 1993. This book contains good background information on the Aztec civilization.
 

Teacher Background

This lesson begins with a general explanation of the sentence strip time line that will be in use throughout the year, and with a review of the Mayan information covered in Lesson 3. In this lesson, students are given a general overview of the Aztec civilization and, as they did with the Maya, are asked to choose symbols to represent its major accomplishments. (Students were introduced to the Aztec civilization in First Grade.) The symbols will be painted or drawn onto the third of the masks designated for Aztec symbols. As in Lesson 3, students will be required to justify their choice of symbols and explain what the symbols represent.
 

Procedure

Begin today's lesson by placing the sentence strip with "Maya 250-900 A.D." written on it on the board. Explain to students that this sentence strip will be the beginning of a time line. A time line is a line along which events are shown in the order in which they occurred. As an example to further student understanding of this concept, on the board draw a quick time line of the holidays within a year, starting with New Year's Day. Ask: Since the Maya are in the beginning of our time line, what does that mean about when they existed? (before other civilizations and events we will be studying) Tell the students that because we will be using our time line throughout the year, we may need a few symbols to go with the words on it. The symbols should help us remember the most important aspects of the words. Ask: What symbols should go with the word "Maya"? (Discuss and come to a class consensus. The symbols should represent the major accomplishments of the Mayan civilization, as described in the previous lesson. The symbols may be drawn directly on the sentence strip, if space allows, or may be drawn on another sheet of paper and displayed under the word "Maya" once the sentence strip is hung on the wall.) Tell students that today, we will be learning about a new civilization, the Aztecs. The Aztecs existed from approximately 1300-1500 A.D. Ask: Where do you think we will write this information on our time line? (to the right of the Maya information) Write Aztec 1300-1500 A.D. on the time line.

Next, have students take out their Central and South American maps. Using the classroom size map as a reference, show students where this civilization once existed (just above the area in which the Maya lived, in southern Mexico). On their maps, students should lightly draw stripes through this area, then add this Aztec information to the map key they began in the previous lesson.

Instruct students to think about possible symbols for the Aztec civilization as it is discussed today. Begin by telling students that the Aztecs had a very bad reputation among the other South American civilizations. Students should be able to relate to the phrase "bad reputation," so ask them to describe what they think this meant about the Aztecs. Ask: Why do you think they had a bad reputation? (They were fierce warriors who conquered the neighboring tribes and made them pay tributes.) Tell students that not unlike a bully who may punch you and take your money, the Aztecs made those they conquered give them gold, corn, cloth or even some of their people. Ask: What do you think they did with the captives they brought home from battles with other tribes? (accept all guesses, it is unlikely students will guess the exact answer) Go on to explain that some of their captives were necessary for their religion. Tell students that religion was very important to the Aztecs, just as it was to the Maya. The Aztecs believed that their gods, who were in charge of bringing either good or bad fortune to the people, needed human blood to stay happy. Since the Aztecs wanted to keep their gods happy with the hope that they would then have lots of good fortune, they performed human sacrifice frequently, and sacrificed great numbers of victims. Many of their victims were the prisoners of war they had brought from battles. Just as the priests were in charge of much of the Maya culture, the Aztecs also had priests who had great power. The Aztec emperor was considered a kind of god, but priests advised him on matters affecting the Aztec nation. Two of the most famous and successful Aztec emperors were Montezuma and Montezuma II. (If time permits, the students may find interesting the meaning of the phrase "Montezuma's Revenge".)

Tell students the Aztec legend of the founding of their most famous city, Tenochtitlan. According to legend, when the Aztecs were still hunters and gatherers, a god told them to stop wandering when they saw an eagle, sitting on a cactus, holding a snake in its mouth. When they did see this as it was described, the eagle was sitting on a cactus that was on an island in the middle of a shallow lake. The Aztec decided to build a great city on that very island. Because the lake was shallow, they were able to build canals that functioned as streets for canoes. There were also land bridges for walking, and the entire city was very well organized. In the middle of Tenochtitlan was a great temple. Show students an illustration of what Tenochtitlan would have looked like from one of the books suggested above. Then, tell them that today, Mexico City stands where Tenochtitlan once stood, and the lake is now dried up. If possible, show students a picture of the Mexican flag, which has the eagle, on a cactus, eating a snake, on it.

Next, ask students to brainstorm ideas for symbols that could stand for the Aztec civilization. If not given, elicit from students symbols of the major Aztec characteristics and accomplishments: their fierce warrior nature; the island city of Tenochtitlan; their rulers Montezuma and Montezuma II; ruler-priests; human sacrifice. Write all ideas for symbols on the board, then tell students that just as they did for the Maya, they will be selecting symbols to paint on the Aztec third of their masks. (See diagram below.)

It is suggested, as was done in the Mayan lesson, that the teacher set up a paint station in the back and rotate groups between painting and writing explanations of their symbols. If necessary, remind students that they may use any symbols they like, but need to explain on the key started in the last lesson what each symbol stands for and why it was chosen. Students may do this in complete sentences, or may create a key to the symbols. The teacher will probably want them to make some distinction on their paper between the Maya and Aztec symbols, even if just to draw a line between them and write "Maya" above those for the Mayan civilization, and "Aztec" above those for the Aztecs.

To summarize, have students share with the class what symbols they chose and why. Ask: Where did the Aztec live? (in what is now southern Mexico) If someone were to ask you to describe how the Aztec were similar to the Maya, what would you say? (they both had ruler-priests and religion was very important in their lives; both built great temples; they lived very close to one another) Ask: How were the Aztec different from the Maya? (the Aztec performed human sacrifice frequently; the Aztec were more fierce; they had the great city of Tenochtitlan;

the Aztec had two famous leaders named Montezuma and Montezuma II; the Maya developed a system of writing, math and astronomy, as well as a calendar)

In the next lesson, the masks and their accompanying symbols' explanations will be completed, so store these for the students. Additionally, the time line will be expanded, so this should be stored as well.
 

Suggested Follow-Up Activities

Students have been working on masks, so they may enjoy researching, using the books suggested, how the Aztec actually used masks. They can then share this information with the class, and if time permits make a replica of an actual Aztec mask using the same technique used to make the class masks.
 

Fifth Grade - History - Lesson 5 - The Incan Civilization

Objectives

Locate the site of the ancient Incan civilization.

Choose symbols to represent the major accomplishments of the Incan civilization.

Draw or paint the chosen symbols onto a mask.

Describe what the symbols represent.
 

Materials

Classroom size map of Central and South America

Maps of Central and South America begun in Lesson 1

The sentence strip time line with the Aztec and Mayan information on it, begun in Lesson 3

Paints or markers

Lined paper

Masks (either paper mache or paper) made in Lesson 2
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Baquedano, Elizabeth. Eyewitness Books: Aztecs, Inca & Maya. New York: Knopf, 1993. This book is full of pictures and artifacts of Incan civilization.

Mason, Antony. The Children's Atlas of Civilizations. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, 1994. Within this book is an excellent map showing the location of the Incan civilization, as well as photos of the area and artifacts found there.

McKissack, Patricia. A New True Book: The Inca. Chicago: Children's Press, 1985. There are photos of artifacts and the topography of the region in which the Inca lived. The text accompanying the pictures is easy reading.

Student Title

Clark, Ann Nolan. Secret of the Andes. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. This is a chapter book about a boy who is an Incan descendant and lives in the Andes Mountains.

Teacher Resource

Hirsch, E.D. What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell Publishing, 1993. This book contains good background information on the Aztec civilization.

Howard, Cecil. Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., 1968. This book has a chapter describing the realm of the Incas, and many interesting photos and drawings.
 

Teacher Background

This lesson starts by reviewing the information learned about the Aztec, then adds information about the Inca to the time line begun in Lesson 3. Just as in the lessons on the Aztec and Maya, students will listen to a general overview, brainstorm possible symbols for the Incan civilization, paint or draw these symbols onto their masks, and write an explanation of the symbols. Students were introduced to the Inca in Grade 1.
 

Procedure

Begin today's lesson by displaying the time line begun in Lesson 3. As a means of review, ask: What symbols could we draw and place around the word "Aztec" to help us remember important facts about their civilization? (Responses may vary, but should include symbols of their fierce warrior nature, the aqueducts and massive temple of Tenochtitlan, and religious symbols to represent the ruler-priests and the practice of human sacrifice.) These symbols may be drawn immediately right on to the time line, if time and space allow, or can be added on separate sheets of paper at a later date. Tell students that today, we will be learning about the third and last of the major ancient South American civilizations, the Inca. Write the word "Inca" on the board and have students repeat it. The Inca lived at about the same time as the Aztec. Ask: How can we show this on our time line? (Discuss various options with the students and come to a consensus as a class. Several possibilities include writing "Inca" on another sentence strip and placing it directly above or below the Aztec information, or writing the Incan information immediately to the right of the Aztec information.) Once the class has agreed on the best way to include the Inca on the time line, write "Inca 1200-1530 A.D."

Next, pass back out the maps of Central and South America the students started in Lesson 1. Explain to the students that the Incan empire was huge, and on the classroom size map, show them the size of it. It extended from what is now Ecuador to the tip of Chile, from the Pacific Coast on the west through the Andes on the east. Using the classroom size map as a model, have students find the area of the Incan empire on their own maps and draw cross-hatch marks in this region to designate its location. They should then add this information to their map keys. Maps may then be collected, or students may choose to keep them for future study use.

To begin the discussion of the Inca, ask: Looking at the map, what geographic feature do you notice in the Incan empire? (the Andes Mountains) Ask: How do you think that having a large mountain range affected transportation in this empire? (The Inca had to build roads to cross the mountains.) Explain to the students that the Inca, like the Aztec and Maya, were great builders. In addition to extensive roads, they built tunnels and rope bridges to help them cross the Andes. They built several great cities in high in the Andes. Two of these cities were Machu Picchu and Cuzco. Show students pictures of the ruins of Machu Picchu from one of the suggested books. Most Incas were farmers, but because they lived in the mountains, they had to cut terraces, or rows of steps, out of the sides of the mountains in order to have a level field on which to grow crops. Show students a picture of terraces from one of the suggested books to further their understanding of this concept. Around the terraces were stone walls to keep the soil from washing away during storms. The Incas were such excellent stonemasons that some of these walls are still standing today, even though they didn't use cement! Religion was very important to the Inca, but they did not practice human sacrifice. Instead, they sacrificed animals. One animal which was very important to the Inca was the llama. (Again, show students a picture from one of the suggested books.) Ask: How do you think the Inca used the llama? (The Inca used the llama's wool to make clothing, ate llama meat, and used the llama to help carry loads across the mountains.)

Ask: What symbols could we use to represent the Incan civilization? (Answers will vary, but should include symbols for their extensive roads across the mountains, the terraces they used for farming, their stone masonry and the llama.) Write all possible symbols on the board, then have students rotate, as was done in Lessons 3 and 4, between a paint station where they can paint the symbols on their masks, and their seats where they are to write explanations of the symbols chosen in either complete sentences or in a key. The symbols for the Incan civilization will go in the final third of the mask, as shown below.

End class by asking students to agree on symbols for the time line to represent the Inca. Review all three civilizations by playing the following game: Students should be taught simple hand signs for each of the three civilizations, for example, a pinky held in the air for the Inca, a fist for the Maya and a "peace sign" for the Aztec. Read these clues and challenge students make the appropriate sign to indicate which civilization is being described.

"We built the island city of Tenochtitlan. Who were we?" (Aztec)

"We developed a mathematical system that included use of the number zero. Who were we?" (Maya)

"We were very fierce warriors and frequently brought home captives to sacrifice. Who were we?" (Aztec)

"We had an empire that stretched along the Andes. Who were we?" (Inca)

"We had knowledge of astronomy and developed a calendar. Who were we?" (Maya)

"We had rulers named Montezuma and Montezuma II. Who were we?" (Aztec)

"We used the llama in many ways. Who were we?" (Inca)

"We built terraces into the mountains so that we could farm. Who were we?" (Inca)

"We developed a system of hieroglyphic writing. Who were we?" (Maya)

Congratulate the students on their success, and if any students can think of additional facts, allow them to put them into the spoken format above and challenge their classmates to use the hand symbols to "name that civilization."
 

Suggested Follow-up Activities

Display the masks with each mask's written explanation of symbols used.

Have students respond to this journal prompt: If you had to travel back in time and live in one of these three civilizations, which of the three would you choose? Why?

Individuals or small groups could research the Incan use of quipu (a system of knots tied on strands of yarn to record events), and prepare a brief oral report for the class describing it.

Students could use a diagram such as the one below to compare and contrast the three ancient civilizations. If they are not familiar with the use of such diagrams, familiarize them first, then have them work either individually or cooperatively to fill it in. Once it is completed, students should be able to use it to make statements about the differences or similarities between the civilizations. Students may also be engaged in the development of a rubric used to grade this assignment.
 

Bibliography

Read Aloud

Dupre, Judith. The Mouse Bride. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. (0-679-83273-4)

Lattimore, Deborah. The Flame of Peace. Mexico: Harper-Trophy, 1987. (0-06-443272-6)

Lattimore, Deborah. Why There is No Arguing in Heaven. Mexico: Harper Collins Publisher, 1989. (0-06-023718-X)

Wisniewski, David. Rain Player. New York: Clarion Books, 1991. (0-395-55112-9)

Student Reference

*Baquedano, Elizabeth. Eyewitness Books: Aztecs, Inca & Maya. New York: Knopf, 1993. (0-679-83883-X)

Cheney, Glenn Alan. The Amazon. New York: Franklin Watts, 1984. (0-531-04818-7)

Deltenre, Chantal and Martine Noblet. Peru and the Andean Countries. Hong Kong: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1994. (0-8120-6490-9)

Georges, D.V. A New True Book: South America. Chicago: Children's Press, 1986. (0-516-01296-7)

Mason, Antony. The Children's Atlas of Civilizations. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, 1994. (1-56294-494-0)

McIntyre, Loren. Exploring South America. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1990. (0-517-56134-4)

McKissack, Patricia. A New True Book: The Aztec. Chicago: Children's Press, 1992. (0-516-41936-6)

McKissack, Patricia. A New True Book: The Inca. Chicago: Children's Press, 1985. (0-516-41268-X)

McKissack, Patricia. A New True Book: The Maya. Chicago: Children's Press, 1992. (0-516-01270-3)

Nicholson, Robert and Claire Watts. The Aztecs. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1994. (0-7910-2725-2)

Nicholson, Robert. The Maya. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1994. (0-7910-2729-5)

Wood, Tim. The Aztecs. New York: Penguin Books, 1992. (0-670-84492-6)

Student Title

Clark, Ann Nolan. Secret of the Andes. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. (0-14-030926-8)

Teacher Resource

*Hirsch, E.D. What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell Publishing, 1993. (0-385-31464-7)

Howard, Cecil. Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., 1968.

Matthies, Susanna. Egyptians, Maya, Minoans. Santa Barbara, CA: The Learning Works, Inc., 1986. (0-88160-122-5)

Morris, Ting and Neil. Sticky Fingers Masks. New York: Franklin Watts, 1993. (0-531-14259-0)

Terzian, Alexandra M. The Kids' Multicultural Art Book. Charlotte, VT: Williamson Publishing, 1993. (0-913589-72-1)

* Required or strongly recommended