Indigenous Peoples: The Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas
Web Quest by
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanoga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
Indigenous peoples are original inhabitants of a land. The Native Americans are the indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America. Although there are many different tribes such as the Cherokee, Blackfoot, Apache, Navajo, and others in North America, it is the tribes of Mexico, central and south America that were the largest and most advanced. These people created huge cities and monuments that still remain today. Besides their architecture, each group left behind their own unique culture that is still found in the Americas today. In this Web Quest, you will use the internet to research and learn about the Aztecs of Mexico, the Mayans of Central America, and the Incas of South America.
First, you will watch an IMAX dvd on the Mayan empire. This movie will introduce you to the archeological and cultural impact of the Mayans on Mexico and Cenral America. After watching the movie, you will break down into groups of no more than 5. There will be six groups total, two groups for each indigenous peoples. Each group will use the internet to research their people to learn about the history, culture, and legacy of their people. After completing the research, you will give a class presentation no more than 10 minutes in length that presents your findings to the class.
1. First, you will watch the IMAX dvd "Mystery of the Maya." This movie will give you some background information on indigenous peoples of the Americas.
2. After watching the movie, you will be broken down into groups of no more than 5. There will be six groups total, two for each indigenous people.
3. Each group will use the following Internet links to research their people, and learn more about the history, culture, and legacies left behind. Here are the links:
4. The above websites will give you a good start on research. In addition, you will perform your own internet research by using the keywords and the Google Search Engine.
5. Remember what you are researching. In your presentation, you will need to briefly outline the major historical events of your people, unique aspects of thier culture, how the geography of their land affected that culture, what unique scientific innovations they discovered, and the legacy they have left behind (i.e. how are they still effecting the people and land in todays world?)
6. After you have researched enough to answer all of the above questions, prepare a presentation no more than 10 minutes long which you will present to the class.
7. Construct a visual aid to help with the presentation. It might be a poster board, power point, handouts, etc.
8. Part of your grade will be based on teamwork and cooperation. Make sure that each member of the group participates in all phases of this project.
Your grade will be based on the following evaluation rubric:
|Oral Presentation Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Covered all areas of importance for Incans, Mayans, or Aztecs. History, Culture, impact today, etc.||50
|Presentation was well planned and coherent. (Evidence of rehearsal)||10
|Visual Aid (helpful, neat)||15
|Stayed within the time limit. (8 to 10 minutes)||10|
|Communication Skills (eye contact, posture, clear voice, appropriate volume, transitions between speakers smooth, and all members presented)||15
|Total Possible Points||
Note that half of your grade is based on the content of your presentation, or essentially what you learned from your research. The other half is based on the presentation itself. If you have any questions about how you will be graded, ask your teacher.
The indigenous peoples of the Americas have left a large impact on today's world. Not only did their scientific advances benefit all, but the remnants of their culture continues to enrich the people of the countries in which they lived. Mexicans owe much of their culture, for example, to the Mayan and Aztec peoples that came before them. Studying the ancestors of a people is one way to learn about them, where they came from, and where they are going.
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Grade Band: 9 - 12 Social Studies
Tennessee State Curriculum Standards: World Geography
1.1 understand the complex nature of culture and how cultures influence the characteristics of places and regions.
1.2 understand the relationship between physical environments and culture
2.3 understand the changes that occur in the nature, use, distribution, and importance of resources
3.2 know the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment, both physical and human, locally, regionally, and globally
3.7 understand how physical systems and environments affect human systems
5.1 understand the patterns of human settlement
1.2 understand the development of culture
3.1 understand that people adapt to their physical environment
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction:
Before beginning the Web Quest, the teacher should show the IMAX dvd "Mystery of the Maya" (38 mins.) This is available at www.amazon.com. The movie will give the students some background knowledge on indigenous peoples of Mexico, and the importance of Archeology in learning about these people. After the movie, the teacher is responsible for dividing students into groups of no more than 5. Ideally, there should be no more than six groups, with 2 groups for each indigenous people: Mayans, Incans, and Aztecs. Each group needs to have internet access. Each group will prepare a class presentation between 8 - 10 minutes long. You may want to substitute a less formal class discussion for the class presentations. Be prepared to help students with internet navigation and research. Before beginning the research you may want to go over the basics of keyword searches on search engines such as Google.
Purpose of Web Quest and Learning Improvements:
The purpose of this Web Quest is to introduce students to the native culture and traditions of the different peoples of the North and South America, to promote an understanding of geography and it's influence on culture, to promote team work through group projects, to promote oral presentation skills through class discussion and/or presentation, to promote the use of the internet as a viable research tool, to promote awareness of different cultures. The students should learn about the history and culture of the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incans. In addition, this Web Quest should promote critical thinking skills by providing choices of what to include in a presentation, and by requiring students to use the information they learn to teach others.
Google (2004). Search Engine. Retrieved April 2, 2004, from http://www.google.com
The Incas. (1997). Inca History. Retrieved April 2, 2004 from www.theincas.com
Indians.Org. (2003). Aztecs/Mexicas. Retrieved April 2, 2004 from www.indians.org/welker/aztec.htm
Science Museum of Minnesot. (2004). Mayan Adventure. Retrieved April 2, 2004 from http://www.smm.org/sln/ma/index.html
Slingshot. (1996). Mystery of the Maya [dvd]. Toronto, Canada: Imax.
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