As we finished the unit on “How We Organize Ourselves,” students wrote reflections about what they learned and what they enjoyed about the unit.

Piper

I loved the unit about the Pre-Colombian cultures. We learned about the Inca, Maya and Aztecs. At the end of each week, we would write about the culture, the religion, the government and the history of the tribe we were studying that week. Before I started the unit, I knew some things. I knew that in some places they played a ball game, but I had no idea that it belonged to the Aztecs and Mayas. I learned that in every step on the pyramid, there was an emperor buried there. I thought I learned a lot about this unit and I really liked it.

Collin

I learned that the Aztecs and the Mayas have a lot in common. For example, they both played the ball game. They also had similar writing systems. All three tribes have a lot of gods they believed in. The Spanish took over the Aztec and Inca cultures. I also learned that the Incas had a lot of temples and they prayed there. The Incas had more than 200 types of potatoes and all of those tribes lived in South America. I really enjoyed the movement activity that Abby and Emily from the university did with us. I loved this unit!

Benjamin

In this unit we learned about the Mayas, Aztecs and Incas. While we were studying this unit, some girls from the university came in and taught us by using different movements. We also learned by watching interesting videos. In English we are writing stories that we made up. Now, in Spanish class we’re inventing our own cultures.

Alex

I had lots of fun in this unit. First, my favorite part was when we had to write about the history of the Aztec, Inca and Maya cultures. We also wrote about their religions and governments. I liked that because, first of all, I liked learning facts and writing them down on a piece of paper, and second of all, because we got to watch a video. Next, I learned a lot about the cultures (Inca, Mayan and Aztecs). Finally, I also learned that the Incas didn’t have a way to write. I had so much fun in this unit.

Elly

I learned that all of these cultures have some things in common. For example, the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas all sacrificed people to the gods, they all had temples and they all wore clothes made out of animal skins. Also, the Mayans grew many kinds of fruit and the Aztecs had a ball game they played. My favorite thing about them is that they wore clothes, had cool temples and they made really cool art. This is what I learned in this unit.

Emma

I liked when we made plays about the Incas and when Abby and Emily came in and we learned about the Incas. At first, I did not know anything about the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas but now I know more. For example, the Aztecs had a game where you couldn’t use your hands but you had to get a 5 pound ball and through it in a hoop. I also learned that in Macchu Pichu they have the sun temple and the temple of the three windows. At first, I thought that this unit was going to be hard and boring but it was actually fun. I enjoyed this unit!

Nate

I learned that Macchu Pichu was really high above sea level and that the Aztecs first discovered chocolate. I learned that the Mayas would sacrifice people for good crops and for rain. They Mayas and Aztecs played a game where they needed to get it in the hoop without using their hands or feet. They could only use their hips, head and shoulders.

I liked when the girls from the university came in and taught us how to dance and we learned about the Incas. I also liked when we did a project on the tribes and we did a game show.

Finn

My favorite thing about the unit was learning about the different cultures. I learned that the Aztecs ate chocolate and that the Mayan calendar went all the way up to 2012. It’s pretty cool that the Inca made houses by putting stones on top of stones instead of using cement. Their water system was really interesting and they grew plants by using rain water.

Jack

I learned that the Incas could build structures so well and that a sheet of paper couldn’t even fit through the bricks. They didn’t even use cement! I l also learned about the temple of the sun in Macchu Pichu. So more or less, I liked this unit and I want to do another unit a lot like this one. That is what I learned in this unit at school.

Nina

Throughout this unit, I had lots of fun. The first civilization that we learned about was the Mayas. The Mayas played a ball game called “el juego de pelota.” You could only use your shoulders, hips and elbows. The ball weighed almost 5 pounds! There were two hoops at either end of the field, but the hoops were tilted to the side. On each team, there were two or three players. If you won the game, you would be happy, but if you lost, you would be sacrificed. The Mayans had a king that lived in the middle of the city. They did sacrifices to the gods to make sure the gods would stay happy.

The next civilization was the Aztecs. The Aztecs played a ball game as well. The Aztecs had a government system. At the top of the pyramid would be the emperor. Next would be the workers, then the war prisoners and then the slaves. The Incas were the most recent civilization we learned about.

We had two guests from the university, Abby and Emily. They taught us about a lot of things. They showed us what it would be like to be an Inca farmer. They would wake up early in the morning and get to work on the potatoes. Then they came home for another short night and so on. The Incas grew over 200 different kinds of potatoes. We also learned about Macchu Pichu, the temple of the sun and the temple of the three windows. Overall, I think we learned about the Incas the most.

Grace

I loved this unit about the Inca, Aztec and Mayan cultures. I learned a ton and I now can tell you interesting facts:

  • The Incas cultivated crops on terraced land.
  • They Mayans and the Aztecs played a ball game that involved being sacrificed if you won. Also, you couldn’t use your hands.
  • The Aztecs and the Mayans wrote with glyphs.
  • They also used a base number of 20 instead of 10 like us.
  • The Mayans had over 166 different gods.
  • The Incans built walls over 7 meters high out of stone that didn’t have anything holding them together – no cement or anything. They were so tight that a piece of paper couldn’t fit between them. They were built on the slant of a mountain.
  • The Inca city of Caral was strong between 3000 BC and 1800 AD. It is the oldest city of the Americas.
  • The Incas had runners called “chasquis” that ran up to 200 km. each day. They memorized messages (without writing) and ran to other cities and towns to deliver the messages.
  • The Incas cultivated over 200 kinds of potatoes.
  • In Nazca, there are lines drawn on the land that represent 30 different images. Some images are the monkey, the spider and the hummingbird. Some scientists think they were a calendar they could use to remember the times to plant and cultivate food.
  • The Aztec city of Tenochtitlan was created where someone saw and eagle on a cactus with a snake in its mouth. That was very rare!
  • In 1519, Hernan Cortes came to Mexico. The Aztecs thought he was a god because of his horse and his appearance. He was showed free reign of the jewels and gold and silver and sailed back to Spain with them.

These are a few things I learned about these civilizations.