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unlL 4 : Meso-Amerlca
This is a unit written for fifth grade on the Mayan, Aztec and Incan civilizations. It covers, in detail, the topics outlined in the world civilization strand of
the Core Knowledge Sequence for fifth grade, as well as the geography topics related to those civilizations.
In studying the three great Meso-American civilizations of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca, it is hoped that the students will come to understand three main
concepts that are woven throughout the unit. These are ideas that transcend the topics being studied--universal truths that students will remember
and apply to other studies throughout their lives.

By the end of the unit, students will answer the following writing prompt:
You will conduct a short research project using several sources to build knowledge through the investigation of different aspects of the Aztec, Incan,
or, Mayan culture. You will gather relevant information from print and digital resources and then summarize information from notes for their finished
work. The relevant information and summaries will be used to publish an informational book teaching others what you know and have learned about
one Meso-American culture.

Your response should be a well-developed essay with three sources of information cited, including accurate quotations from the texts. Edit your
writing for proper verb tenses and punctuation, especially commas. You have the option of adding a multimedia component to your papereither
creating an electronic slide presentation to highlight key points or sharing links to music and/or images of the Meso American culture of choice.
Publish both and present them to the class. Answer questions from classmates about your presentation.

Week Mentor text Supplemental
text/Multimedia
Standards Informal
Assessment
Reading Writing Speaking/Listening Language
1 Mayas, Incas, and
Aztecs Primary
Source Reader by
Wendy Conklin (Lexile
730)
(model with Inca
portion)
! Kids Discover
Aztec and Inca
issues
Strategy:
Inferring/Determining
Importance

Standard: RI.5.1,
RI.5.2, RI.5.4
W.3.7, W.3.8 SL 5.1,SL.5.4, SL.5.5,
SL5.6
L.3.1,L.3.2,L.3.3
L.3.4, L.3.6

Vocabulary
Flapper (on-
going)
Multiple Main
Idea Graphic
Organizer
Note-taking
Organizer
2

The Maya Kids
Discover Magazine.
New York: KIDS
DISCOVER, 1994.
ISSN 1054-2868
! National
Geographic
Video, Lost
Kingdoms of the
Maya
! Maya: The
Journey Into
Civilization by
Robert Nicholson
Strategy:
Inferring/Determining
Importance

Standard: RI.5.1,
RI.5.3, RI.5.4
W.3.7, W.3.8 SL 5.1,SL.5.4, SL.5.5,
SL5.6
L.3.1,L.3.2,L.3.3
L.3.4, L.3.6
Cause and Effect
Organizer
Vocabulary
Flapper (on-
going)
Note-taking
Organizer
3 The Aztecs
-readworks.org
! Readworks.org
site has multi-
level texts on all
three empires
Strategy:
Inferring/Determining
Importance

Standard:
RI.5.1,RI.5.3, RI.5.4
W.3.2, W.3.7,
W.3.8, W.3.9
SL 5.1,SL.5.4, SL.5.5,
SL5.6
L.3.1,L.3.2,L.3.3
L.3.4, L.3.6
Sequence of
Events organizer
Vocabulary
Flapper (on-
going)
First-Draft of
PCR
4 The Aztec by Patricia
McKissak (Lexile 670)





The Aztec Empire By
Sunita Apte (Lexile
910)
Ancient Aztec Video
Strategy:

Standard:RI.5.1,
RI5.4, RI5.5

W.3.2, W.3.3 SL 5.1,SL.5.4, SL.5.5,
SL5.6
L.3.1,L.3.2,L.3.3
L.3.4, L.3.6
Text Structure
think sheet
Vocabulary
Flapper (on-
going)
Writers
Workshop
Conferences
5 The Inca by Patricia
McKissak
Aztec, Inca, and Maya
by Elizabeth
Baquedano (Lexile
1050)
!"# %&'(#&) *&'+ by
aLrlcla CalverL
Strategy:

Standard:
RI.5.1, RI5.4, RI5.5
W.3.4, W.3.3 SL 5.1,SL.5.4, SL.5.5,
SL5.6
L.3.1,L.3.2,L.3.3
L.3.4, L.3.6
Text Structure
think sheet
Final Draft of
Prose
Constructed
Response
*note: Bold standards indicate when new standard is introduced
**Note: standards highlighted are the focus standards for the week
Aztecs
The Ancient Aztecs
http://library.thinkquest.org/27981/
This site explores Aztec culture, technology, religion, and a timeline of Aztec rulers.
Aztec Calendar
http://www.azteccalendar.com/
Learn the day of the year according to the Aztec calendar, then click on the links at the left side of the screen to learn more about the calendar and
Aztec gods and goddesses.
Aztec Calendar Stone
http://www.crystalinks.com/aztecalendar.html
This site describes the different numbering systems found on the Aztec Calendar Stone and what the symbols on the stone mean.
The Aztec Empire
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/latinamerica/meso/cultures/aztec_empire.html
Information about the Aztec empire: where they came from and what their society was like.
Aztec Food and Drink
http://library.thinkquest.org/27981/food.html
Important foods valued by the Aztec.
Aztec Gods--Who's Who
http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-gods.html
The major Aztec gods and their myths.
Aztec Mythology
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/mythology/aztec_culture.html&edu=mid
Read the stories behind the Aztec Gods Earth, Moon, Rain, Sun and others.
Aztec Religion
http://library.thinkquest.org/27981/beliefs.html
A description of Aztec religion, important gods, and the Aztec Underworld.
The Aztecs
http://home.freeuk.com/elloughton13/aztecs.htm
This site has information about Aztec history, religion, archeological sites, and everyday life. Click on the sun stone to enter. This site is also available
in Spanish.
The Aztecs
http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/nettsch/time/aztec.html
This site, from Nettlesworth Primary School, is great for younger students. It has information about important people and events, arts & crafts, daily life,
the military, Tenochtitlan, and fun & games.

Incas
Daily Life in the Inca Empire
http://incas.mrdonn.org/empire.html
Learn about the Incan people, their architecture, roads, government, farming, religion, and more .
Ice Mummies of the Inca
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/peru/
NOVA Online explores the lost world discovered on this expedition. High graphics may lead the site to load slowly. Text version is available.
Ice Treasures of the Inca
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/96/mummy/
Visit this site by National Geographic where the discovery of a well-preserved body in ice opens up a new door to the world of the ancient Inca.
Inca Civilization
http://www.crystalinks.com/incan.html
History, geography, Incan roads, music, religion and much more are covered here.
Incas
http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/CIVAMRCA/INCAS.HTM
A brief introduction to the social organization, agriculture, language, and religion of the Incas.
Incas
http://coe.fgcu.edu/students/webb/meso/inca.htm
Learn about Inca religion, daily life, architecture, recreation, and food.
The Incas
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/latinamerica/south/cultures/inca.html
Find out about Inca fortifications, social organization, agriculture, and religion.
Tomb Find Reveals Pre-Incan City
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6172530.stm
What a new discovery of tombs and artifacts tells us about the Sican culture, a pre-Incan people.
Towers Point to Ancient Sun Cult
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6408231.stm
A string of thirteen towers, over 2,300 years old, were used to observe the position of the sun over the course of a year.
Mayans & Mesoamerica
Ancient Observatories
http://www.exploratorium.edu/ancientobs/chichen/index.html
Find out about the observatory at Chichn Itz, the ancient Mayan city located on the Yucatn Peninsula in Mexico. Features information and activities
on seasons, alignments, petroglyphs, Mayan mythology, the Mayan calendar, and related topics. From the San Francisco Exploratorium.
Collapse--The Maya
http://www.learner.org/exhibits/collapse/mayans.html
Why did the Mayan culture collapse? Search for clues in this online activity.
Copan Honduras
http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/maya/copan.htm
Photos showing important areas of the Mayan ruins at Copan.
Mayans
http://library.thinkquest.org/11577/
Explore Mayan culture, social structure, art, and sciences on this site.
Maya Adventure
http://www.sci.mus.mn.us/sln/ma/
The history and culture of the Maya, from the Science Museum of Minnesota.
The Maya Environment
http://www.michielb.nl/maya/geographical.html
Altitude, rainfall, and temperature.
Mayan Kids
http://www.mayankids.com/
Read about the Mayan people, pyramids and beliefs, or play the Mayan game.
Mayan Writing - Codices
http://www.lost-civilizations.net/mayan-writing-codices.html
The Maya had one of the few writing systems in the Americas. Learn about it, their inscriptions, and the books they produced with it.
Mundo Maya
http://www.mayadiscovery.com/
From Mundo Maya magazine, this site has articles about Mayan archaeology, history, nature, daily life, handicrafts and legends.



*note: Bold standards indicate when new standard is introduced
**Note: standards highlighted are the focus standards for the week