Lesson Plan #2The Ancient AztecIntroduction:The focus of this lesson is going to be on the dominating force that was the Aztec empire. This isan empire that students may have already heard of, but they will take a deeper look into allaspects of Aztec society.Objectives:Content/Knowledge:1. SWBAT analyze and assess characteristics of the Aztec empire.Process/Skills:1. SWBAT design many different representations of Aztec society.Values/Dispositions:1. SWBAT reflect on the significance and impact of Aztec civilization.Standards:State – Illinois Learning Standards1. SS.H.4.6-8.MdC: Compare the central historical arguments in secondary worksacross multiple mediaState – Common Core State Standards: Grades 6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7: Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts,graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digitaltexts.National – National Council for the Social Studies Standards1. Time, Continuity, and Changed. identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents,letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others
Syntax – Procedures1. Logical/Mathematical:a. Teacher Instructions1. Direct the students to the reading and timeline of Aztec history.2. This will act as the students’ basic guide of information.3. Answer any clarifying questions or concerns the students may have aboutinformation they read.4. Remind the students that some information might make sense when theygo to another station.b. Resource1. Aztec History Reading2. Aztec Timeline3. Instructions for students’ timelinec. Student Activity1. First, read through the short description about the Aztec civilization andthe accompanying timeline.2. Next, using information found from either the reading, the timeline, orboth, select five events that you think are most important in the history ofthe Aztec.3. On the Student Timeline sheet, create your own timeline of the 5 eventsyou chose, while following instructions on the sheet.2. Visual/Spatial:a. Teacher Instructions1. Provide a packet of the Religion and Gods Power Point slides printed out.2. Students will read through the Power Point.3. Tell students that their directions for the Aztec God assignment is at theend of the Power Point.4. Provided paper for students to complete their assignment.b. Resource1. Religion and Gods Power Point2. Blank computer paperc. Student Activity1. Read through the Power Point about the Aztec religion and gods, takingnotes if you desire.2. At the end of the Power Point, follow all instructions for the “Aztec God”assignment.3. Body/Kinesthetic AND Interpersonal:
a. Teacher Instructions1. I will give the students the readings about political and social structure ofthe Aztec civilization.2. After allowing students time to read these in class, students will work intheir groups to create a script for a potential newscast that could air in thecivilization.3. Groups need to follow the instructions listed on the activity sheet for whatneeds to be included in the newscast.4. I will remind the students that they will be performing their newscasts infront of the whole class one day next week, so they need to treat it as if theyare actually reporting the news.b. Resource1. Political and Social Structure readings2. Newscast assignment descriptionc. Student Activity1. Students will first read about the political and social structure of the Aztec.2. Working with their groups, students will write a script for a newscast thatreflects what they learned about the government or society.3. Students must follow instructions so they meet all of the project’srequirements.4. Presentations of the newscasts will take place one day next week, so beready!4. Musical/Rhythmic:a. Teacher Instructions1. The website that students will be using will already be pulled up on theChromebooks at this station.2. Encourage students to explore the site at their own pace and really listen tothe drum rhythms and read about the different instruments the Aztecsused.b. Resource1. Chromebooks2. Headphones3. Access to Aztec Drum Rhythms websitec. Student Activity1. Students will learn more about the music of the civilization.2. The Aztec Drum Rhythms website provided audio clips of drum beats inthe civilization.3. Read through the descriptions of music from the Aztec and listen to anyaudio clips provided.4. Explore through the other rhythms/music sections if time allows.5. Naturalist:a. Teacher Instructions1. Students are going to investigate the agriculture of the Aztec, specificallytheir system of “floating gardens.”2. I will tell the students that they are going to read through the description ofagriculture.
3. Then, students will look at the pictures of the floating gardens, and discusshow effective this method was.4. Discussion Questions for floating gardensa. How do you think they came up with this idea?b. Does it seem effective?c. Would this work in rural areas today globally?d. Advantages and disadvantages?b. Resource1. Reading about agriculture2. Picture of floating gardensc. Student Activity1. Students will read about the agriculture of the Aztec.2. After reading, look at the pictures of the floating gardens. Then, discussthe questions with the entire class.6. Verbal/Linguistic:a. Teacher Instructions1. I will introduce the Aztec’s encounter with the Spanish by giving somegeneral background information.2. Students will then read a diary entry from Christopher Columbus when hefirst met the Aztec people.3. Make sure the students highlight/underline any words/terms/phrases thatthey do not understand, then discuss these words with the class.4. Afterwards, students will take on the role of an Aztec person and write adiary entry from their point of view in the encounter.b. Resource1. Diary entry from Christopher Columbus.c. Student Activity1. First, the class will listen to a general introduction about the Aztec’sencounter with the Spanish.2. Then, students will read a diary entry from Christopher Columbus,highlighting words/terms/phrases they do not understand.3. Following a discussion about what they read from Columbus, students willtake on the role of an Aztec person, and write a diary entry about theirview of the Spanish.7. Intrapersonal:a. Teacher Instructions1. I will explain to the students that they must use the information they havelearned about the Aztec empire in order to complete this station.2. I will explain the directions of A Day in the Life Activity.3. Students may start it in class at the station, but it must be completed ashomework if not finished.b. Resource1. Any notes/research the student needs to remember the information2. Day in the Life Activity sheetc. Student Activity1. A Day in the Life Activity
2. Students will write a story about a day in the life of a person in the Aztecempire.3. Students should be creative and write the story from the first person.4. If not completed at station during class, it is to be finished for homework.
Resources (Source Citations & Bookmarks)EARLY AZTEC HISTORYThe exact origins of the Aztec people are uncertain, but they are believed to havebegun as a northern tribe of hunter-gatherers whose name came from that of theirhomeland, Aztlan (or “White Land”). The Aztecs were also known as the Tenochca(from which the name for their capital city, Tenochtitlan, was derived) or the Mexica(the origin of the name of the city that would replace Tenochtitlan, as well as thename for the entire country). The Aztecs appeared in Mesoamerica–as the southcentral region of pre-Columbian Mexico is known–in the early 13th century. Theirarrival came just after, or perhaps helped bring about, the fall of the previouslydominant Mesoamerican civilization, the Toltecs.When the Aztecs saw an eagle perched on a cactus on the marshy land near thesouthwest border of Lake Texcoco, they took it as a sign to build their settlementthere. They drained the swampy land, constructed artificial islands on which theycould plant gardens and established the foundations of their capital city,Tenochtitlán, in 1325 A.D. Typical Aztec crops included maize (corn), along withbeans, squashes, potatoes, tomatoes and avocadoes; they also supported themselvesthrough fishing and hunting local animals such as rabbits, armadillos, snakes, coyotesand wild turkey. Their relatively sophisticated system of agriculture (includingintensive cultivation of land and irrigation methods) and a powerful military traditionwould enable the Aztecs to build a successful state, and later an empire.THE AZTEC EMPIREIn 1428, under their leader Itzcoatl, the Aztecs formed a three-way alliance with theTexcocans and the Tacubans to defeat their most powerful rivals for influence in theregion, the Tepanec, and conquer their capital of Azcapotzalco. Itzcoatl’s successorMontezuma (Moctezuma) I, who took power in 1440, was a great warrior who wasremembered as the father of the Aztec empire. By the early 16th century, the Aztecshad come to rule over up to 500 small states, and some 5 to 6 million people, eitherby conquest or commerce. Tenochtitlán at its height had more than 140,000inhabitants, and was the most densely populated city ever to exist in Mesoamerica.Bustling markets such as Tenochtitlan’s Tlatelolco, visited by some 50,000 peopleon major market days, drove the Aztec economy. The Aztec civilization was alsohighly developed socially, intellectually and artistically. It was a highly structuredsociety with a strict caste system; at the top were nobles, while at the bottom wereserfs, indentured servants and slaves. The Aztec faith shared many aspects with otherMesoamerican religions, like that of the Maya, notably including the rite of humansacrifice. In the great cities of the Aztec empire, magnificent temples, palaces, plazasand statues embodied the civilization’s unfailing devotion to the many Aztec gods,
including Huitzilopochtli (god of war and of the sun) and Quetzalcoatl (“FeatheredSerpent”), a Toltec god who served many important roles in the Aztec faith over theyears. The Aztec calendar, common in much of Mesoamerica, was based on a solarcycle of 365 days and a ritual cycle of 260 days; the calendar played a central role inthe religion and rituals of Aztec society.EUROPEAN INVASION & FALL OF THE AZTEC CIVILIZATIONThe first European to visit Mexican territory was Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba,who arrived in Yucatan from Cuba with three ships and about 100 men in early1517. Cordobars reports on his return to Cuba prompted the Spanish governorthere, Diego Velasquez, to send a larger force back to Mexico under the commandof Hernan Cortes. In March 1519, Cortes landed at the town of Tabasco, where helearned from the natives of the great Aztec civilization, then ruled by Moctezuma (orMontezuma) II. Defying the authority of Velasquez, Cortes founded the cityof Veracruz on the southeastern Mexican coast, where he trained his army into adisciplined fighting force. Cortes and some 400 soldiers then marched into Mexico,aided by a native woman known as Malinche, who served as a translator. Thanks toinstability within the Aztec empire, Cortes was able to form alliances with othernative peoples, notably the Tlascalans, who were then at war with Montezuma.In November 1519, Cortes and his men arrived in Tenochtitlan, where Montezumaand his people greeted them as honored guests according to Aztec custom (partiallydue to Cortes’ physical resemblance to the light-skinned Quetzalcoatl, whose returnwas prophesied in Aztec legend). Though the Aztecs had superior numbers, theirweapons were inferior, and Cortes was able to immediately take Montezuma and hisentourage of lords hostage, gaining control of Tenochtitla. The Spaniards thenmurdered thousands of Aztec nobles during a ritual dance ceremony, andMontezuma died under uncertain circumstances while in custody. Cuauhtemoc, hisyoung nephew, took over as emperor, and the Aztecs drove the Spaniards from thecity. With the help of the Aztecs’ native rivals, Cortes mounted an offensive againstTenochtitlan, finally defeating Cuauhtemoc’s resistance on August 13, 1521. In all,some 240,000 people were believed to have died in the city’s conquest, whicheffectively ended the Aztec civilization. After his victory, Cortes razed Tenochtitlaand built Mexico City on its ruins; it quickly became the premier European center inthe New World.http://www.history.com/topics/aztecs
AZTEC TIMELINE1100 - The Aztecs leave their homeland of Aztlan in northern Mexico and begintheir journey south. Over the next 225 years the Aztecs will move many times untilthey finally settle down at the city of Tenochtitlán.1200 - The Aztecs arrive in the Valley of Mexico.1250 - They settle in Chapultepec, but are forced to leave by the Culhuacan tribe.1325 - The city of Tenochtitlán is founded. It will become the capital of the AztecEmpire. The location is picked by the priests because it is where they see theforetold sign of an eagle holding a snake while standing on a cactus.1350 - The Aztecs begin to build causeways and canals around Tenochtitlán.1375 - The first dominant ruler of the Aztecs, Acamapichtli, comes into power.They call their ruler the Tlatoani which means "speaker".1427 - Itzcoatl becomes the fourth ruler of the Aztecs. He will found the AztecEmpire.1428 - The Aztec Empire is formed with a triple alliance between the Aztecs, theTexcocans, and the Tacubans. The Aztecs defeat the Tepanecs.1440 - Montezuma I becomes the fifth leader of the Aztecs. His rule will mark theheight of the Aztec Empire.1440 to 1469 - Montezuma I rules and greatly expands the empire.1452 - The city of Tenochtitlán is damaged by a great flood. The next few years arefilled with famine and starvation.1487 - The Templo Mayor (Great Temple of Tenochtitlan) is finished. It isdedicated to the gods with thousands of human sacrifices.1502 - Montezuma II becomes ruler of the Aztec Empire. He is the ninth of theAztec kings.
1517 - The Aztec priests mark the sighting of a comet in the night sky. They believethe comet was a sign of impending doom.1519 - Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes arrives in Tenochtitlán. The Aztecstreat him as an honored guest, but Cortez takes Montezuma II prisoner. Cortez isdriven from the city, but Montezuma II is killed.1520 - Cuauhtémoc becomes the tenth emperor of the Aztecs.1520 - Cortes forms an alliance with the Tlaxcala and begins to attack the Aztecs.1521 - Cortes defeats the Aztecs and takes over the city of Tenochtitlán.1522 - The Spanish begin to rebuild the city of Tenochtitlán. It will be called MexicoCity and will be the capital of New Spain.http://www.ducksters.com/history/aztec empire/timeline aztec empire.php
Aztec Political StructureThe Aztec empire was made up of a seriesof city-states known as altepetl. Eachaltepetl was ruled by a supreme leader(tlatoani) and a supreme judge andadministrator (cihuacoatl). The tlatoani ofthe capital city of Tenochtitlan served as theEmperor (Huey Tlatoani) of the Aztecempire. The tlatoani was the ultimate ownerof all land in his city-state, received tribute,oversaw markets and temples, led themilitary, and resolved judicial disputes. Thetlatoani were required to be from the nobleclass and of royal lineage. Once a tlatoaniwas selected, he served his city-state forlife. The cihuacoatl was the second incommand after the tlatoani, was a memberof the nobility, served as the supreme judgefor the court system, appointed all lowercourt judges, and handled the financialaffairs of the altepetl.New emperors were elected by a highcouncil of four nobles who were related tothe previous ruler. Emperors were usually chosen from among the brothers or sons ofthe deceased ruler. They were required to be nobles, to be over the age of 30, to havebeen educated at one of the elite calmecac schools, to be experienced warriors andmilitary leaders, and to be just. Although the emperor had absolute power and wasbelieved to be a representative of the gods, he governed with the assistance of fouradvisors and one senior advisor who were elected by the nobility.Aztec Social StructureThe Aztecs followed a strict social hierarchy in which individuals were identified asnobles (pipiltin), commoners (macehualtin), serfs, or slaves. The noble class consistedof government and military leaders, high level priests, and lords (tecuhtli). Priests hadtheir own internal class system and were expected to be celibate and to refrain fromalcohol. Failure to do so would result in serious punishment or death. The tecuhtliincluded landowners, judges, and military commanders. Nobles were entitled to receivetribute from commoners in the form of goods, services, and labor. Noble status waspassed on through male and female lineages, and only nobles were permitted to displaytheir wealth by wearing decorated capes and jewelry.The commoner class consisted of farmers, artisans, merchants, and low-level priests.Artisans and traveling merchants enjoyed the greatest amount of wealth and prestigewithin this class, and had their own self-governing trade guilds. Commoners generally
resided in calpulli (also referred to as calpolli), or neighborhood wards, which were ledby a single nobleman and a council of commoner elders.The Aztecs additionally had landless serfs and slaves. Serfs worked land that wasowned by nobles and did not live in the calpulli. Individuals became slaves (tlacotin) asa form of punishment for certain crimes or for failure to pay tribute. Prisoners of war whowere not used as human sacrifices became slaves. An individual could voluntarily sellhimself or his children into slavery to pay back a debt (the latter required permission ofthe court). Slaves had the right to marry, to have children, to substitute anotherindividual in their place, and to buy their freedom. Slaveowners were responsible forhousing and feeding their slaves, and slaves generally could not be resold. They wereusually freed when their owners died, and could also gain their freedom by marryingtheir owner. Aztecs were not born slaves and could not inherit this status from theirparents.Women had limited leadership roles within the Aztec empire. There is evidence thatthey had administrative roles in the calpulli and markets, and also worked as midwivesand priestesses. However, the top administrative positions were limited to men, andwomen were not permitted to serve as warriors.All Aztec children attended school, thoughtheir curricula varied by gender and socialclass. Each calpulli had a school forcommoner children known as a telpochcalli.The purpose of the telpochcalli was to trainyoung men to be warriors, and boysgenerally began their training at the age of15. Noble children and exceptionally giftedcommoner children attended the calmecacschools, where they received training tobecome priests and government officials.While military training was provided, thecalmecac offered more academicopportunities than the telpochcalli. Childrentypically began attending the calmecacbetween the ages of 6 and 13. The schoolsimposed harsh punishments on theirstudents for misbehavior and the calmecac were especially strict because noblechildren were held to a higher standard than commoner children.
Activity on Chromebooks from: http://www.philtulga.com/Aztec%20Music.html
Aztec Agriculture - Rich and VariedIn the days of the empire, Aztec agriculture was a lot more complex that growinga few stalks of maize. The remarkable farming practices of the peoples in central Mexicohas been studied and admired ever since.Prior to the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Aztec society ruled the central Mexico, built on thefoundations of Mesoamerica. Aztec society was highly structured and complex, and thepolitical emphasis was working as a larger unit with smaller parts that worked together.Just as other aspects of this society, Aztec agriculture was highly developed, and hasbecome famous in studies of history. From the chinampas to the terrace crops grown, theAztecs planned and organized their farming and worked for the benefit of the culture.ChinampasAztec agriculture in the heart of the empire used chinampas for their crops. Chinampa is amethod of farming that used small, rectangular areas to grow crops on the shallow lakebeds in the Mexican valley. Chinampas were essentially artificial islands created for thecrops.An area was staked out in the lake bed, usually about thirty by two and a half meters. Oncethe area was fenced off, the farmers layered it with mud, sediment, and decayingvegetation until it was above the level of the lake. Trees were also often planted in thecorners to help secure the area.These islands then provided rich soil for crops with easy access to water. The farmers usedchannels between the islands to get to each area by canoe. Read more about this type ofAztec farming here.Other methods of Aztec agricultureIn addition to chinampas, the Aztec farmers practiced terracing to provide more usableland. In terracing, walls of stone were created in hillsides, then filled in to create deepersoil that could be used, even if the land wasn't flat.People also often created their own gardens to grow fruits and vegetables for their families,although commoners were expected to give tributes to the nobles of their land, according tothe societal hierarchy.CropsThe most common crop grown by the Aztecs was maize, also known as corn, and it wasalso the most important. Maize could be stored for long periods of time, and in addition tobeing eaten as it was, it could be ground into flour and made into other foods.Squash was another important crop in Aztec agriculture. There are many varieties ofsquash that were utilized by Aztec farmers based on how they could be best used as a foodsource. The pumpkin, for example, was used often because its seeds provided a great dealof protein. And the bottle gourd was grown because after being eaten, it could be used as a
water container.Beans are another crop that provided protein for the Aztec people, so this crop wascommonly found in chinampas. However, the Aztec farmers also grew avocados, tomatoes,and guavas, among others, as food sources, and used cotton plants and rubber trees tocreate products they needed like clothing and latex balls.Read more about the food of the Aztec empire here.ChallengesOne challenge all farmers face is retaining nutrients in the soil where crops areplanted. Different crops deplete the soil of certain nutrients, so if a specific crop is plantedin the same field year after year, it won't grow as well. This is a particular challenge inareas of Mexico where there are large populations and small areas where farming can takeplace easily.To combat this, Aztec farmers planted crops together or rotated crops to help keep nutrientsin the soil, and give them the opportunity to regenerate.Maize, squash, and beans were referred to as the "Three Sisters" in Aztec agriculture.These three crops were planted together because they kept the nutrients in the soil,ensuring the crops would grow well and the people would have the food they needed.Aztec farmers also let the fields sit fallow for a time, meaning that particular plot of landwasn't used for crops to let it rest and regenerate the nutrients it needed.Because of the importance of agriculture to the survival of the Aztec people, the growing ofcrops was important to all people of the society. As young people grew in society, theycould learn agriculture as a trade, which meant the methods were passed to futuregenerations.People also used crops to trade for other products such as animal skins or woodwork. TheAztec society had a strong economy that was driven by trade, so having crops to trademeant the people would be sure to have other products they needed.Source: l
Christopher Columbus Diary EntrySaturday, 13 October. "At daybreak great multitudes of men came to the shore, all young and offine shapes, very handsome; their hair not curled but straight and coarse like horse-hair, and allwith foreheads and heads much broader than any people I had hitherto seen; their eyes were largeand very beautiful; they were not black, but the color of the inhabitants of the Canaries, which isa very natural circumstance, they being in the same latitude with the island of Ferro in theCanaries. They were straight-limbed without exception, and not with prominent bellies buthandsomely shaped. They came to the ship in canoes, made of a single trunk of a tree, wroughtin a wonderful manner considering the country; some of them large enough to contain forty orforty-five men, others of different sizes down to those fitted to hold but a single person. Theyrowed with an oar like a baker's peel, and wonderfully swift. If they happen to upset, they alljump into the sea, and swim till they have righted their canoe and emptied it with the calabashesthey carry with them. They came loaded with balls of cotton, parrots, javelins, and other thingstoo numerous to mention; these they exchanged for whatever we chose to give them. I was veryattentive to them, and strove to learn if they had any gold. Seeing some of them with little bits ofthis metal hanging at their noses, I gathered from them by signs that by going southward orsteering round the island in that direction, there would be found a king who possessed largevessels of gold, and in great quantities. I endeavored to procure them to lead the way thither, butfound they were unacquainted with the route. I determined to stay here till the evening of thenext day, and then sail for the southwest; for according to what I could learn from them, therewas land at the south as well as at the southwest and northwest and those from the northwestcame many times and fought with them and proceeded on to the southwest in search of gold andprecious stones. This is a large and level island, with trees extremely flourishing, and streams ofwater; there is a large lake in the middle of the island, but no mountains: the whole is completelycovered with verdure and delightful to behold. The natives are an inoffensive people, and sodesirous to possess any thing they saw with us, that they kept swimming off to the ships withwhatever they could find, and readily bartered for any article we saw fit to give them in return,even such as broken platters and fragments of glass. I saw in this manner sixteen balls of cottonthread which weighed above twenty-five pounds, given for three Portuguese ceutis. This traffic Iforbade, and suffered no one to take their cotton from them, unless I should order it to beprocured for your Highnesses, if proper quantities could be met with. It grows in this island, butfrom my short stay here I could not satisfy myself fully concerning it; the gold, also, which theywear in their noses, is found here, but not to lose time, I am determined to proceed onward andascertain whether I can reach Cipango. At night they all went on shore with their canoes.
Name:A Day in the Life ofWrite a story about a single day in the life of an individual in the Aztec civilization in firstperson. This could be from the perspective of a noble, child, priest, slave, warrior, parent,emperor, farmer, merchant etc. In your story, you need to include the following: Roles of the Individualo What were the responsibilities of the individual you chose?o What types of privileges did he/she have?o Where was the individual situatedamongst others in the socialhierarchy?o What types of events did he/she goto? Self-worth of Individualo How might your individual feelabout themselves and their role insociety?o Are they happy or sad?o Do they feel important?o Are they rich or poor?o What types of clothing does yourindividual wear to show theirstatus?o What types of food did he/she eat? Discuss the likelihood of your individualmoving up the social hierarchyo Is it possible for your individual totake on a different role?o Do roles run in the family?***Be sure to review the rubric on the backside of this page to get an understanding of how youwill be assessed on this project.
Name:StudentLevelCriteriaDescribesdifferences ofEuropeanworldviewsFormulateand icientAdequateLimited *(10)(8-9)(5-7)(4 and below)Provides a richand detaileddescription ofthe day andlife of chosenindividualFormulates aposition andprovidescompellingevidence tosupportposition.Communicatesinformation ina skillfulmanner toengage thereader.Provides asubstantialdescription ofthe day andlife of chosenindividualFormulatesposition andprovidesconvincingevidence tosupportposition.Communicatesinformation inan effectivemanner tointerest thereader.Provides acursorydescription ofthe day andlife of chosenindividualFormulatesposition andprovidessimplisticevidence tosupportposition.Communicatesinformation ina straightforwardmanner thatgenerallyholds theattention of thereader.Provides asuperficialdescription ofthe day andlife of chosenindividualFormulatesposition andprovidesinconclusiveevidence tosupportposition.Communicatesinformation inan ineffectivemanner thatdoes little tosustainattention of thereader.Score &Comments* When work is judged to be limited or insufficient, the teacher makes decisions about appropriate intervention tohelp the student improve.Total: (30 possible points)
1. Direct the students to the reading and timeline of Aztec history. 2. This will act as the students’ basic guide of information. 3. Answer any clarifying questions or concerns the students may have about information they read. 4. Remind the students that some information might make