Subject: Social Studies
Lesson Length: 60 - 65 mins
Topic: Indigenous Civilizations of the Americas
Brief Description: Students will explore the impact of one of the four major indigenous civilizations from the Americas: Olmecs, Incas, Aztecs, or Mayas.
Know Before You Start: Students should have an understanding that many civilizations were present in the Americas prior to European colonization.
Present the four major ancient tribes that populated the Americas (Olmecs, Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs.) Ask students what they know about any of these civilizations.
Read and discuss the sample comic about the Olmec. Center the discussion around present-day ideas or technology that stem from ideas and inventions from any of these civilization, e.g., concept of zero. Discuss their impact with the class.
- Introduce the following vocabulary:
Research the contributions of one of these ancient civilizations.
Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a three-panel comic illustrating the contributions of one of one of these civilizations, e.g., math, technology, literature, etc.
Panel 1: Introduce your selected civilization. Who were they? Where were they located?
Panel 2: What lasting idea or technology did they invent that made an impact on future civilizations? Describe it.
Panel 3: Show how we still use this idea or technology today.
Categorize and display the completed comics by civilization.
As a class, compare and contrast the four groups.
Have students explain which group they believe had the biggest impact and why. Students must present evidence for their rationale.
- Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
- Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
Assign students a specific indigenous civilization.
Provide sentence frames as needed.