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File 1684_Aztecs Unit of work.doc
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Name: JoanneRichardsonCourse / Year:PGCE

Planning2: Unit of Work

Subject / Area ofLearning (& Theme)

History - Aztecs


(Class / Set)


Learning Objectives


Activityand Organisation


Assessment of Outcomes



SpecialResources needed

Reinforcementof learning in other areas

(e.g. K&U,literacy, numeracy and ICT)

To locate the Azteccivilization on maps




Use atlases and maps on IWBto locate Britain, Spain and Mexico. Discus location of Aztecs inMexico.


Identify and add labels toIWB outline world map and own copy.


Criterion: Can the childrenlocate the Aztec civilization on a map?

How: Class work onIWB map, childrens own labeling of maps.



Copies of world maps.


Geography map work




To place the Azteccivilization within a chronological framework

Human timeline. Reinforceidea of BC and AD. Use events and periods children previouslystudied.

AD/BC at each end ofclassroom. Children given cards with historical events/eras andrest of class to instruct where to stand, size of gaps.

Criterion: Do the children knowwhen the Aztec civilization existed in relation to other historicalstudies?

How:Discussion in arranging humantimeline

Flashcards of historicalevents and dates.


To consider why the Aztecsbuilt Tenochtitlan in the middle of Lake Texcoco and identifypossible advantages and disadvantages of location.

Locate Aztec civilization onmap of Mexico on IWB. Close up of Tenochtitlan on island in lake.Read legend of founding of city. Discuss advantages anddisadvantages of location.

Children to discuss with talkpartners advantages and disadvantages of location of Tenochtitlan.Annotate own copy of close up map with these.

Criterion: Can the childrenidentify advantages and disadvantages of Tenoctitlanslocation?

How:Observation of discussion withtalk partners and class discussion, written work.

Maps on IWB


Copies of maps forchildren


Copy of legend

Literacy Stories fromother cultures

To identify the mainfeatures of Aztec life in Tenochtitlan and compare with modern waysof life.

Children working in groupsto find out about one aspect of life for Aztecs and then sharingwhat we have learnt through jigsawing.

1.Buildings 2. Food 3. Work4. Clothes 5. Art 6. Mexican flag

Plenary to discussdifferences with modern ways of life.

Children to work in groupsresearching one topic, then mixing up so 1 expert in each group toproduce factsheet/poster about everyday life.

Criterion: Have the childrenidentified the main features of Aztec life and compare with modernways of life?

How:Jigsawing, factsheet/poster, classdiscussion

Books, pictures, websitesabout Aztecs and information packs for groups.

ICT to producefactsheets


Literacy non-chronologicalreport

To know who the Aztec peopleworshipped as their gods and what kind of religious festivals werecelebrated

Class and group work on gods(Museum of Anthropology).


Ensure children understandhuman sacrifice was not considered cruel but normal at time forAztecs may even have volunteered.


Explore music and dance andlinks to religion.

Using resources to match gods todescriptions and pictures. Who would you ask to help with variousproblems? Discuss religion and human sacrifice.

Criterion: Can the childrenidentify the main Aztec gods and the central beliefs of theirreligion?

How:Matchingexercise and observation of discussion.

Pictures, names anddescriptions of Gods for matching (IWB and own copies).

RE comparison with otherreligions studied

To understand that there canbe different interpretations of the past (with reference to theSpanish invasion of Mexico)

Explore the invasion of theSpanish Conquistadors. Read and discuss why Spanish came, role ofHernan Cortes.

Where are the Aztecsnow?

How can Spanish invasion beinterpreted? E.g. How Cortes felt about the Aztecs? How Aztecswould have felt about Cortes?

Things taken to Europe bythe Conquistadors papaya, avocado, chocolate, coffee, chillies.Tasting?

Discuss questions in groups,highlight key points in information sheets and feedback to class toshow different interpretations of the invasion.

Criterion: Can the childrenidentify different interpretations of the Spanish invasion?

How:Discussion of attitudes andfeelings of Aztecs and Cortes and people now.

Information in books, sheetsand IWB about Conquistadors.



Literacy extracting keyinformation from text

To understand how ancientartifacts can provide evidence and help us discover more about thepast

Look at the sunstone andAztec glyphs. Interpret what some of these might mean.

Books and internet to finddifferent artifacts and say what these tell us about theAztecs

Discuss sunstone and glyphs ingroups. Worksheet on glyphs.

Groups to examine oneartefact.

Criterion: Do the childrenunderstand how ancient artifacts can provide evidence to help usdiscover more about the past?

How:Worksheeton glyphs, discussion of what artefact tells them aboutAztecs

Pictures of artefacts


Glyphs worksheet


To summarise what they havefound out about the Aztec civilization

Brainstorm what they havefound out, large sheets of paper for groups and post-its for eachchild to add to mindmap. Prompt questions e.g. what are the mostimportant things you have found out? How did you find out? What doyou still want to know?

Produce mindmap if what they knowand would still like to find out.

Criterion: Can the childrensummarise what they know about the Aztec civilization?

How:Discussion and mindmap

Large sheets of paper forgroups to brainstorm.


Marker pens