Grade 1History and Geography

Focus: In this Grade 1 Core Knowledge History and Geography unit Early Civilizations of the Americas, students explore several different, powerful civilizations that people created in North and South America long ago.

Beginning with the arrival of the first humans into the Western Hemisphere many thousands of years ago, the unit looks at the evolution of civilization in the Americas, from hunters and gatherers to complex cities and cultures of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca.

Students first investigate the Maya—their religion, and the study of astronomy that led to accurate calendars that are similar to those of today. Then they explore the Aztec Empire, and the fascinating island city Tenochtitlán, where Mexico City exists today. The unit then directs students to the Inca and looks at the Royal Road, once the longest in the world, and the remarkable city of Machu Pichu.

The unit’s five chapters expose students to the religions, agriculture, and folklore of these rich and amazing cultures.

Additional Search Terms: social studies • geography • religion • nonfiction • informational text • ancient civilization • hunter gatherers • farming • Maya • astronomy • Aztec • Tenochtitlán • Inca • Royal Road • quipu • Machu Pichu • Andes Mountains • Nahuatl • Quechua

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 K-2 are appropriate for students in the lower elementary grades. The  Student Book is intended to be read aloud by the teacher as the students look at images on each page.

We have intentionally left the pacing and timing needed to teach the content presented in the Teacher Guide and Student Book very flexible. Teachers can choose how much they read aloud and discuss in a single instructional period, as well as how often each week they use the CKHG materials.

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