• Search
  • My Storyboards

Activity Overview

The Aztecs were an empire filled with massive cities and sophisticated technologies when the Spanish arrived in 1519. Unfortunately, the Spanish sought to conquer the land for Spain despite its native inhabitants and war soon broke out. In this activity, students will research the events leading up to the fall of the Aztec empire and then create a poster timeline. They should include facts and illustrations with their poster.

You can find additional timeline poster templates to give students lots of options, and update the instructions accordingly.

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: Research the events leading to the fall of the Aztec empire and create a poster of facts and illustrations.

Student Instructions:

  1. Using school resources, conduct some research and learn more about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire.
  2. On the poster, include 6 events in order to retell the events leading to the fall of the Aztec empire.
  3. Use scenes, characters, items, and animals to create illustrations for each event.

Requirements: Six events in order along with six illustrations.

Lesson Plan Reference

Switch to: Common CoreArizonaCaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIowaKansasMarylandMassachusettsNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaTexasUtah


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

Poster Rubric
Create an eye-catching, creative poster to demonstrate your understanding! These can be hung around the class or presented digitally!
33 Points
22 Points
Needs Improvement
11 Points
The text on the poster includes important facts, is accurate and is pertinent to the topic demonstrating a solid understanding of the subject.
The text on the poster includes some important facts, is mostly accurate and is pertinent to the topic demonstrating an emerging understanding of the subject.
The text on the poster does not include enough important facts. The information is not accurate or is not pertinent to the topic.
Artistic Depictions
The art chosen enhances the poster by symbolizing or illustrating important facts. Time and care is taken to ensure that the design is neat, eye-catching, and creative.
The art chosen is mostly accurate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. The design constructions are neat, and meet basic expectations.
The art chosen is too limited. The design appears rushed and incomplete.
English Conventions
Ideas are organized. There are few or no grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas are mostly organized. There are some grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Storyboard text is difficult to understand.

How To Facilitate a Discussion on the Fall of the Aztec Civilization


Provide Introduction and Context

Start by giving a succinct summary of the cultural accomplishments, social structure, and governmental framework of the Aztec civilization. Emphasize the civilization's importance to Mesoamerican history. Students can also explore other topics related to the civilization such as their way of living, culture, and religion to get a holistic view to analyze the facts.


Set up Discussion Parameters

Establish explicit guidelines for participation, such as allowing each student to speak once before allowing someone to speak again. Encourage courteous disagreement and active listening. Ask the students to be respectful while discussing other civilizations and different cultures and encourage active participation and note taking.


Investigate the Causes and Effects

Encourage the students to assess the effects of the numerous variables, including the Spanish conquest, sickness, internal strife, and alliances. Ask the students to analyze the impact of religion on the decisions and what small yet significant causes became the reason for the decline of the civilization.


Present Claims With Evidence

Encourage pupils to make claims that are supported by evidence from the original sources or historical narratives offered. All of the arguments should have some credible source with an analysis of their own.


Reflect and Synthesize

At the end of the discussion ask the students to reflect on their notes and all the information that they have collected so far. Students can use this information to present their analysis and listen to different insights presented by their friends and class fellows.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Fall of the Aztec Empire

How did Hernán Cortés contribute to the downfall of the Aztec Empire?

Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés was in charge of the expedition that led to the overthrow of the Aztec Empire. He came to Mesoamerica in 1519 and eventually defeated the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II through a mix of military strategies, partnerships with native factions, and the exploitation of internal strife. Initially, he was perceived as a God by the Emperor of the Aztec Civilization but later he conspired against him which led to the decline.

Did other civilizations of indigenous groups play a role in the fall of the Aztec Civilization?

Alliances were forged by Hernán Cortés with indigenous communities who were against Aztec dominance. The Tlaxcalans, who had a long-standing rivalry with the Aztecs, were the most renowned of them. Cortés benefited from these partnerships' increased military assistance and got tactical benefits. These alliances resulted in the ultimate decline of the Aztec Civilization.

Image Attributions
  • • OpenClipart-Vectors • License Free for Commercial Use / No Attribution Required (
*(This Will Start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)
© 2024 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
StoryboardThat is a trademark of Clever Prototypes, LLC, and Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office