Aztec Primary Source Analysis: Who or What toppled the mighty Aztec empire?

In this set of five primary sources, students will be able to compare and contrast different viewpoints surrounding who the Aztecs were and why their civilization fell in order to come to their own judgments and conclusions. There is a PowerPoint that will help teach your students (through the use of a text message scenario) the importance of looking at multiple sources and how to compare them while thinking like a historian. Students will analyze each source looking at author, audience, and purpose and then identify the main ideas, compare and contrast to other sources, and finish by making a judgment call. I have selected sources about the Aztecs that are both interesting and easy to understand. That being said, primary sources can be difficult for students especially if it is their first time. In order to help, I have a teacher page with tips and ideas and the PowerPoint will walk you through two of the five sources if you choose to do part of it as a whole class. I loved doing primary source analyses in the classroom. It made the history really come alive and taught the students critical skills. It’s no longer about giving the kids the information, its about teaching them how to analyze and sift through the information being hurled at them. Plus, they get really into it! Let them voice their opinion, be sure to use the arrow opinion gauge in a public place so the whole class can see how viewpoints shift, and get ready for an exciting and meaningful break from history lectures!

This is part of a larger unit. If you would like to purchase the entire unit packet for $15, search for it on my store: “Native American Unit.” Please let me know if you have any questions!

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Created: Jan 26, 2016

Updated: Jan 29, 2019


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