This unit is written for fourth and fifth grade students in the Talented and Gifted Program. These are students who have been identified through a multi-criteria screening process to be in the top five percent of their grade. They come to me once a week for a full day. Included within that day is what is referred to as the “core curriculum.” The “core” for fourth and fifth graders was originally the study of the Middle Ages and was traditional in its European-centeredness. In 1992, I used my participation in the Yale Teachers Institute to broaden this curriculum by writing a unit that looked at West Africa, the Aztec culture, and Medieval Europe The major focus of that unit was to allow students, through research and class room activities, to compare and contrast the three cultures. This unit will build upon the previous unit by exploring the mythology of the Aztecs.
All students in the Talented and Gifted Program, in either the fourth or fifth grade, also study Greek Mythology. Thus, this unit will build upon and enhance that year’s core curriculum. Wherever possible, I will provide opportunities for students to compare and contrast not just the Aztec culture with African and European, but with their previous knowledge of Greek mythology as well.