Focus: This unit (Unit 2 for schools using the CKHG series in Sequence grade-level order) begins by placing three ancient Mesoamerican civilizations in historical and geographical context. Students learn about characteristics of Maya culture, their religious beliefs, and their knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. They explore ruins of ancient Maya temples and pyramids. Students are introduced to the Aztecs as warriors and empire builders, their religious beliefs and practices, their use of pictograms in codices, and the great city of Tenochtitlan. Students learn about the Inca’s complex network of roads and the city of Machu Picchu. Students also learn about the demise of Aztec and Inca civilizations after their encounters with Spanish conquistadors, and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Maya.
Number of Lessons: 10
Lesson Time: 45 minutes each daily. Each lesson may be divided into shorter segments.
Additional Search Terms: social studies • geography • map skills • nonfiction • informational text • primary source documents • codex • archaeology
CKHG Grade Levels: CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades 3-5 are appropriate for young readers from the upper elementary grades through middle school.