History Quarter 4

History Quarter 4

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  • Geography of Meso-America
  • Olmecs 
  • Zapotecs
  • (growing more crops)
  • It stretches from southern Mexico into part of Central America. The landscape is divided into two main geographic areas the highland and lowlands. The highlands lands lie between the mountains of the Sierra Madre, a mountain system in Mexico, and consist of fairly flat and fertile land. There was good for agriculture but had some challenges like a volcanic eruption and a powerful earthquake. The low lands were less active and lie along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. 
  • Mayas
  • The Olmec culture began around 1200 B.C. This development led to the birth of Mesoamerica's first civilizations. They emerged on the floodplains of rivers also. Their cities contained pyramids and temples built on earthen mounds. They also built courts where athletes played a game that was a sort of combination of modern soccer and basketball. 
  • Aztecs
  • The Zapotecs would build one of the first major cities in Mesoamerica but their beginnings were humble. They lived in farming villages located throughout the Oaxaca valley for centuries. The center of power shifted when the Zapotec built a city known now as Monte Alban high atop a mountain around the 500 B.C.
  • Cortez and the end of the Aztec Empire
  • POOR
  •  The Maya society was structured according to a class system and religion shaped daily life. The Maya emerged at the same time as the Zapotec.  The farmers had to work hard in the heat to grow their crops while the wealthy enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. The Mayas learned how to track seasonal changes and this knowledge helped them predict the best time to plant and harvest their crops.
  • RICH
  • (CROPS)
  • The Aztecs developed into skilled warriors. At first, they fought for other kings, but then they overthrew their masters and began fighting for themselves. The Aztecs built Tenochtitlan on two islands in a swamp in the western part of Lake, Texcoco. They constructed artificial fields called chinampas to feed their growing population. These Chinampa farmers piled layers of mud and vegetation to raise the soil level above the water.
  • Making more chinampas
  • The unrest of the empire was made worse by the rule of Moctezuma ll. Aztecs warriors armed with spear throwers and swords were no match for Spanish conquistadors. "Believing the Spanish would liberate them from the tyranny of their rulers, some Aztec joined the conquistadors' leader, Heran Cortes, in his battles. The conquest ended with a great siege of Tenochtitlan in 1521. The Spanish surrounded and systematically destroyed the great city" According to page 170 paragraph 4.
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