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Mexican Moments

Investigate the Aztec calendar then create a fictional scroll calendar with details of an imaginary trip to Mexico.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to use teacher-approved Internet resources to investigate the Aztec calendar. Ask students to specifically research the symbols for each day. Students draw the symbols using Crayola® Construction Paper Crayons.
    2. Using Crayola Scissors, students cut large sheets of construction paper in half to make two long rectangular pieces. Put Crayola School Glue along one short edge and glue the sheets together to form a long calendar.
    3. Students cut two strips of cardboard longer than the short ends of the calendar. Glue one to each end of the long sheet to form scroll handles. Allow to dry overnight.
    4. Ask students to divide the page into the number of day of their Mexican journey using Crayola Fine Tip Markers and a ruler.
    5. Once their scrolls are complete, students assist each other with rolling up the scroll by turning the cardboard strip handles simultaneously toward the middle. Anchor it to the back using adhesive tape.
    6. Each day on an imaginary trip to Mexico, students add sketches and descriptions of the people, art, foods, architecture, music, etc. to their calendars.
    7. Encourage students to share their completed calendar scrolls with parents, explaining the meaning of each symbol and sketch.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs: World Cultures Through Time by Wendy Conklin; Aztec, Inca & Maya by DK Publishing; The Aztec Empire by Sunita Apte; Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler: World Cultures Through Time by Wendy Conklin

    Rather than using words to describe the days of the week, the Aztecs named their days with picture symbols. Research these symbols. Using Crayola Colored Pencils, create the symbol for each day of the week. Post these cards on the appropriate day.

    Working in small groups, students organize an imaginary trip to Mexico using various media sources. Students record daily sketches and write summaries in journals of the events of each day on the journey to share with classmates.

    Compare and contrast the Aztec culture with that of the Mayans or Incas who also inhabited land in what we now know as Central America. How were the cultures similar? How were they different?


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