Aztec Civilization

Aztec Civilization
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Aztec, Inca, and Maya Civilizations

Maya, Inca, and Aztec Civilizations

Lesson Plans by Liane Hicks

Before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and other European colonizers, civilizations thrived in Central and South America for thousands of years. They built huge cities, massive temples, and vast networks of roads and bridges. They had advanced methods of irrigation, agriculture, and engineering. They practiced religions, were adept at astronomy and math, had languages, created art, and played games! The Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations are often taught in conjunction with each other, though each has their own unique culture and contributions to the world.

Maya, Inca, and Aztec Civilizations

Storyboard Description

Create a storyboard to illustrate different aspects of Aztec culture, resources, and more!

Storyboard Text

  • The Valley of Mexico, where the Aztec civilization developed, is located between high mountains and surrounded by lakes. The weather was mostly mild or temperate. Many of the areas where the Aztec lived either were swampy or dry.
  • Aztecs used gold, copper, obsidian, and clay to make tools, weapons, and pots. They used stone to build temples and large buildings as well as woven reeds to create thatched roofs and rope. They built canoes for hunting and fishing and also used plants for medicines.
  • Aztecs were advanced in agriculture and irrigation. They grew crops such as maize, beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and avocados. They even created floating gardens called chinampas for more places to grow food.
  • The Aztecs, also known as the Tenochca, Mexica, or Culhua-Mexica, lived in central Mexico in the 13th century. They speak Nahuatl. The height of their empire was 1345-1521 and spanned the central Mexican highlands from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific, and south to what is now Guatemala.
  • Emperor,High Priest
  • Nobles: Priests, Officials, Warriors
  • Royal Council
  • Aztecs made clothing out of cloth. Men typically wore a loincloth and cloth while women wore long skirts and blouses. They dyed cloth many colors with plant dyes. They also wore gold and stone jewelry. Feathers were a sign of nobility and only the emperor could wear a turquoise cloak.
  • The Aztecs believed in many gods like the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl, and Huitzilopochtli, god of sun, war, and patron of the capital city. He said to settle where they found an eagle perched on a pear cactus, eating a snake. They found this on an island in a lake, and founded Tenochtitlán.
  • They built huge cities, temples, buildings, causeways, draw bridges, and floating gardens. They had a written language, considered poetry the highest art form, had a number system, adapted the Mayan calendar, and compulsory education for children.
  • Aztec society was a strict hierarchy with the Emperor or Huey Tlatoani ruling all. The high priest chose the Emperor. Then there was a Council of advisors made up of the royal family, followed by nobles, then merchants and artisans. At the bottom were the farmers, laborers, and enslaved people.
  • Farmers and Laborers,Enslaved People
  • Traders, Merchants and Artisans
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