Harriet J. Bauman
This unit proposes to study the Aztec calendar using the object analysis method. Through this approach students will experience the Aztec culture, its customs, attitudes and behavior, and its extensions practiced today in modern Mexico. The students’ active involvement in learning about the Aztec civilization will be much more meaningful than being a passive receptacle for the teacher’s knowledge.
Such an approach adds an important perspective to the Spanish Curriculum of the New Haven Public Schools, for it seeks to examine how a culture has come to be and has developed meaning for its peoples from within. Since the Aztec Calendar Stone is the key to all that happened in Aztec society, it can be used to approach any part of the society and still maintain its natural focus. Furthermore, the physical calendar itself is fascinating. It is like a puzzle. Properly introduced, the Calendar can excite the students and motivate them to learn.
As the students’ interest develops, the ten-week design of the unit could be expanded to twenty weeks or more. Then there would be opportunities to delve into certain aspects of the Mexican culture in more depth. The unit could be taught in conjunction with a World Civilization, American History, Mythology, Comparative Literature, Art, or Music class.
(Recommended for Spanish III, IV, and V classes, grades 10 through 12)
Calendar Aztec History Ancient Mexican Native American Culture Mexico Time Measurement