HERE IT IS
Spanish explorer Hernan Cortés encountered the Aztecs in 1519 and conquered them in 1521, claiming their empire for Spain. He then destroyed the Aztecs capital city of Tenochtitlan and rebuilt a Spanish city on its ruins.
It is the year 1527 and an Independent Counsel has been chosen by the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church to determine a policy for the Church toward future exploration, conquest and conversion of the native people of Mexico
You and your partners will represent either the Spanish or the Aztecs. You will be assigned a role and asked to find information and report to the Special Counsel so that he may help to formulate the Church Policy. The Spanish will want to present an argument supporting the conquest. The Aztecs will want to present logical objections to the actions of the Spanish.
Your research and report needs to be done as quickly as possible since another Spanish explorer, Coronado, is planning to search for the legendary "Seven Cities of Gold" and Pizarro is readying an expedition to find another rich Indian culture to conquer. Also, Portugal is planning an expedition to its new land called Brazil and the Church needs to formulate its policy without delay
Photo from, "http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/HIST/tutor/eurvoya/columbus.html"
As part of the process you will:
Step 2: Assign Jobs as follows:
Step 3: First Journal Entry
Everyone will read the October 12 journal entry written by Columbus wherein he describes the appearance of the native people and draws some conclusions based on their behavior. Summarize in your journal the main things Columbus described and his conclusions. Then pretend you are one of the Native Americans seeing Columbus and his crews for the first time. Complete your journal entry by describing the appearance of the Spaniards and make several conclusions based on their behavior.
Divide the research topics among the group and, as the information becomes available, write the question and the answer in your journals:
Make sure that all questions are covered and answers explained. Answers will be recorded in the daily journal of the person doing that research and posted on the poster.
Questions for Both Groups
Task 7: Organize your information.
Task 8: Present your position(s) to the Independent Counsel
The Photo from, "http://www.public.iastate.edu/~rjsalvad/scmfaq/calendar.html"
Stay organized and on task. Be sure to:
The class will create a rubric for grading this activity. Each individual is responsible for his/her job and based on a 5 point scale, with 5 being the top and 1 being the score for a non-work, will be evaluated by other group members for an individual grade. The presentation before the Independent Counsel will be graded by a student-created rubric which must include evaluation of preparation, validity of argument, amount of research used, use of visuals if available and attention to detail. Appropriateness of behavior during the testimony may also be included as part of the rubric's evaluation. The teacher will be grading the journal entries and five paragraph position papers.
The students will reflect on this activity after the presentation and judgment by writing a 1 to 1.5 page essay that answers the following questions:
As times change, the ideas of culture, nationhood, government, conquest, empires, civil rights , legality and differences between people have changed too. Were the indigenous peoples of the New World so different from their European counterparts? Were the empires they created so different? Should similarity or difference make any difference in judging historical events of the late 15th to 17th centuries? Students need to understand that history does not take place in a vacuum and that surrounding events and prevailing attitudes do shape decisions made in context. Could history be changed based upon understandings and information available in our times? We can just imagine....
Materials and Resources
Materials: Access to the Internet, maps, historical atlases, encyclopedias, World History or Latin American History textbooks, paper for journal entries, venn diagrams or graphics, and organizers.
Resources: Internet links
Burch, Joann J. Isabella of Castile, Queen on Horseback. New York: Franklin Watts, 1991
Carlson, John B. "America's Ancient Skywatchers." National Geographic. March, 1990, pp. 76-132 (Astronomy in Mexico with graphics.)
Crow, John A. Spain, The Root and the Flower. New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1963
Deagan, Kthlen A. "Europe s First Foothold in the New World." National Geographic, January, 1992, pp. 40-52.
De La Haba, Louis. "Mexico, The City that Founded a Nation." National Geographic. May, 1973, pp. 638-669.
Edwards, David L. Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1997
Johnson, William Weber Cortés. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1975
Kamen, Henry Inquisition and Society in Spain. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985 (They said that they were looking for souls to save from hell...)
Kicza, John E. "Patterns in Early Spanish Overseas Expansion" . The William and Mary Quarterly, April, 1992, pp. 229-253.
Lloyd, Alan. The Spanish Centuries. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1968
Lyon, Eugene. "Search for Columbus". National Geographic. January, 1992,. pp. 3-39.
MacDonald, Fiona. How Would You Survive as an Aztec? New York: Franklin Watts, 1995
McDowell, Bart. "The Aztecs", National Geographic. December 1980, pp. 704-752.
Orozco, Cecilio. The Book of the Sun Tonatiuh. Fresno, California: California State University, Fresno, 1992
Moctezuma, Eduardo Matos. "New Finds in the Great Temple", National Geographic. December, 1980, pp. 766-775
Montes, Augusto F. Molina. "The Building of Tenochtitlan", National Geographic. December, 1980, pp. 753-765 (with great foldout map of the Aztec Empire).
Rubin, Nancy Isabella of Castile, The First Renaissance Queen. New York: St. Martin s Press, 1991
Wilkerson, S. Jeffery K. "Following Cortes: Path to Conquest ", National Geographic. October, 1984, pp. 420-459. (The route to Mexico City from Vera Cruz with pictures!)
Granada Middle School, East Whittier City SD
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