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Activity Overview

In this activity students will create a spider map that highlights what they have learned about the Aztec civilization. Their storyboards will include the location, environment, and natural resources available, and how these were used as food and to create tools, clothing, and buildings. Students can also include any Aztec cultural or religious practices, Aztec achievements, government, social structure or any other interesting information that they learned. Students can use the template provided but can also add or delete cells and change the headings as necessary. Students will then include a description and an illustration with appropriate scenes, characters and items. This can serve as a great activity to do as a pre-assessment or after the unit to see what students have learned.

Students Can Collaborate!

Teachers may wish for students to work together on this lesson which is possible with Storyboard That's Real Time Collaboration feature! With Real Time Collaboration, students can work on the same storyboard at the same time which is perfect for this lesson! As teachers know, collaborating on assignments allows students to think on a deeper level while increasing their communication and problem-solving skills. Collaboration can also help cut down on the time it takes to complete a storyboard. While there is no set limit to the number of users who can work on a storyboard at once, we recommend five users or fewer for optimal performance. All of our assignments default to individual. To make this lesson collaborative, teachers must enable collaboration for the assignment within the "Edit Assignment" tab.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a spider map that describes the lives and traditions of the Aztec.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write a 1-3 sentence description of each cell.
  3. Create an illustration that represents each category using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Requirements: Location, environment (physical features and climate), natural resources, useful tools and items made from the natural resources, including clothing and buildings, achievements and cultural practices.

Lesson Plan Reference

Switch to: Common CoreArizonaCaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIowaKansasMarylandMassachusettsNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaTexasUtah


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Environment and Culture Rubric
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Text and images include a clear explanation of the 8 categories provided in the template.
Text and images include an explanation of the categories, but the explanation may lack clarity or there may be some inaccuracies.
Text and images do not explain important facts. Information is mostly missing or inaccurate.
Storyboard Images and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the facts through appropriate scenes, characters, items, symbols or infographics. Illustrations clearly show that time, care and effort have been put in.
Student attempts to convey facts through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey facts and the depictions are inaccurate or inappropriate.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

How To Explore the History of Aztec Civilization


Give Context and Introduction

Give a thorough overview of the Aztec civilization to start. Talk about their geographic location, significant cities (particularly Tenochtitlán), era, and position in Mesoamerican history. Give a brief introduction about co-existing civilizations during this time period and the connectivity between different civilizations.


Make Research Plans

Teach the students how to develop logical research outlines. This aids in the clear and logical organization of their results. Students can decide on their own the objectives of their research and what they aim to achieve from them, and then according to their goals, they can devise a work plan and methodology.


Compare Different Civilizations

As a part of their investigation and research, students can also explore the different aspects of civilizations and compare them. For instance, the comparison between the clothing worn by the Mayans and the Aztecs. Was there any significance related to the colors or the fabrics both civilizations used?


Explore Different Perspectives

Students can check out different reviews and books written by historians that explain their own analysis of the Aztec Civilizations. These narratives can contain data that could be collected from experts and native people. Encourage the students to explore this civilization through different perspectives and accumulate more information.


Reflect and Synthesize

Encourage the students to synthesize all the information that they have collected so far and segment the information to give it a structure for compilation. Students can share this with their friends and class fellows for additional knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions About Location and Culture of Aztec Civilization

What was the primary location of the Aztec civilization?

The Aztec civilization was based principally in the Valley of Mexico, in the center of modern-day Mexico. Tenochtitlán, their capital city, was located on an island in Lake Texcoco. This civilization was located towards the East of the Mayan Civilization and was also the victim of the Spanish conquest of 1521.

What were the Aztec civilization's principal cities?

The capital Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan were the three principal cities of the Aztec civilization. The Triple Alliance, which was composed of these cities, served as the Aztec Empire's political and military skeleton. They shared a language, Nahuatl, which is still spoken today.

What were the Aztecs' greatest achievements in engineering and agriculture?

The Aztecs were expert farmers who created cutting-edge farming methods like chinampas (floating gardens) to raise crops. They also accomplished remarkable engineering marvels like building aqueducts and causeways.

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