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6th Grade: The Americas
Big Idea
Bias changes the way history is recorded.

Geographic factors affected settlement patterns and living conditions.

Past civilizations affect each other and future civilizations.
Essential Questions
  • Should societies conquer others for power and wealth?
  • How did the Mayan civilization develop into an advanced civilization in Mesoamerica?
  • What enabled the Aztecs to build a strong empire in central Mexico?
  • What were the major characteristics of the Incan Empire in South America and how did the Spanish conquer them?
  • What major innovations improved life for the Native Americans of Mexico and South America?
Standards


SS06-S01-C02-02
Describe factors (i.e., farming methods, domestication of animals) that led to the development of cultures and civilizations from hunting and gathering societies.
SS06-S02-C02-08
Describe scientific and cultural advancements in ancient civilizations (e.g., networks of roads, aqueducts, art and architecture, literature and theatre, mathematics, philosophy).
SS06-S04-C02-02
Describe the factors that cause regions and places to change.
SS06-S02-C02-05
Describe the religious traditions that helped shape the culture of the following ancient civilizations
  • Sumeria, India - polytheism
  • Egypt - belief in an afterlife
  • China - ancestor worship
  • Middle East - monotheism
Skills
  • Identify the three major pre-Columbian civilizations that existed in Central and South America (Maya, Aztec, and Inca) and their locations
  • Describe their political structures, religious, practices, economies, art and architecture, and use of slaves.
  • Explain how the European colonial period affected the major economic, political, and social structures in South America.
  • Analyze how early Mayan, Aztec, and Incan innovations influenced later civilizations.
  • Compare the emergence of advanced civilizations in Meso and South America with the four early river valley civilizations.
Content/Core Ideas
  • Exchange between these civilizations have both positive and cataclysmic impacts on these particular societies and civilizations.
  • As economic, social, and political needs change, countries in Europe seek to meet their needs through exploration.
  • The impact of early civilization on America and the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca influence on the country of origin today.
  • The native cultures adapted and changed the environment to meet their needs.
  • The Mayans, Aztecs, and Incans each has a unique culture.
Academic Vocabulary
  • ceremonial center
  • cultural borrowing
  • cultural trait
  • glyph
  • Mayan
  • Olmec
  • codex
  • colony
  • immunity
  • indigenous
  • encomienda
  • Columbian exchange
  • confederation
  • conquistador
  • quipu
  • coureur de bois
  • mesa
  • mitima
  • reclaim
  • quinoa
  • terrain
  • Quechua
  • Aztecs
  • sacrifice
  • Mesoamerica
  • causeway
  • Chinampa
Resources