Aztec Culture

6, 7, 8

We learn about the ancient Aztec culture in Mexico. 

PrintOne 50-Minute Session, plus time for oral reports

The learner will:

  • identify the cultural, economic and social advancements of the Aztec culture.
  • Reference books and websites about Aztec civilization 


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Show an illustration of Tenochtitlan (te noch te tlan), the capital of the Aztec civilization. This city is buried under the present-day Mexico City. The Aztecs were a highly successful and advanced civilization. Talk about what it means to be a civilization (writing system, arts, government, roads, system of education). When the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in war and colonization, they were amazed at the beauty and organization of the city of Tenochtitlan. They strived to blend cultures rather than destroy everything.

  2. In order to learn about this civilization in a relatively short amount of time, youth work in small groups or pairs to research and present a brief oral report about one aspect of the Aztec life and culture. Assign the following topics:

    1. Population (numbers and how it grew)

    2. Location (include environment and present-day)

    3. Organization (government, land recovery, city, society)

    4. Calendar

    5. Arts, artifacts, ruins

    6. War and honor of soldiers

    7. Spanish conquest

    8. Years of Empire/duration/timeline

    9. Legend of eagle, snake, cactus (and where else it appears today)

    10. Evidence of civilization (education, arts, government, etc.)

    11. Moctezuma

    Note: Avoid religion and sacrifice since it will be discussed in depth in the next lesson.

Cross Curriculum 

None for this lesson.