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Subject: Social Studies Grade: 8 Date:

Critical Inquiry Question: What are the Aztec sources of ethical wisdom?
Lesson: Beliefs, Religion Time: 70 mins
SLO 8.3.4 assess, critically, how the Aztecs were affected by the Spanish worldview by
exploring and reflecting upon the following questions and issues:
● What were the key elements of the worldview of the Aztec civilization prior to
contact with the Spanish? (TCC, I, CC)
● How did the Aztec civilization’s worldview influence the Aztecs’ choices,
decisions and customs? (TCC, CC, PADM)

Instructional Objectives:
Students will be able to identify the various sources of ethical wisdom using the
worldview elements


Key Questions:
Focus Question:
How did religious beliefs affect the worldview of the Aztecs?
What are the significant beliefs and practices that shape the Aztecs worldview?
What are the Aztecs sources of ethical wisdom?
How do sources of ethical wisdom shape worldview?

Related Questions:
-What are the Aztec beliefs about the creation of their civilization
-Who are the major religious figures/Aztec gods?
-Why did the Aztecs practice human sacrifice?
-What is the history of the Aztec beliefs?
-What does the Aztec calendar reveal about the culture?
-What are the sacred ceremonies that uphold the Aztec beliefs?

-Recipe Cards


-Student will need to be monitored for progress in groups

Lesson Procedure:
What are the sources of ethical wisdom in the Aztec culture?
1. Identify the elements of the worldview we can look for
a. Explain to student the link to the assignment
b. Redirect them to the “Exploring Worldviews” chart to record their ideas
i. Encourage students to begin recording elements
ii. Use Geography as an example for beliefs
1. Mountains
What are the Aztecs ethical sources of worldview?
2. Aztec Philosophy
a. Highlight the central question about the Aztec worldview. Relate to
Western perspective by discussing Descartes
3. Aztec Science
a. Review their medical knowledge in anatomy also
What are the significant religious beliefs that contribute to worldview?
4. Formation of the Aztecs
a. The Long Migration the Mexicas had
b. The 5 Sun eras and corresponding disaster
5. Tenochtitlan
a. Eagle eating a serpent on a cactus Huitzilopochtli myth
b. Read pg 163 as a class (only if time permits)
6. Creation Myths
a. Have students brainstorm examples at their tables
b. As a class share and discuss. Record on the bored commonalities

Who were the Aztec Gods? How did they influence the Aztec Worldview?
What were the religious beliefs of the Aztecs, and how did they affect their worldviews?
7. Aztec Gods
a. Have students consider what they know about the Aztec way of life so far
and how the gods may shape their worldview
8. Explore each god profile
a. What is significant about each god? - Their representations
9. Human Sacrifice
a. What beliefs of the Aztecs led them to believe in human sacrifice?
b. Do these beliefs mean they were “right” morally?
10. Templo Mayor - The Great Temple
a. History of Aztec religion
b. Sacred temples
i. The pyramid shape resembles the sacred mountains

Who are significant Aztec gods that shape their religious beliefs?

11. Aztec Study Cards

a. Students will be assigned groups to complete 2 detailed card about the god
b. Encourage students to delegate roles in their groups: drawing, research,
c. Students should gather with their group to work. Circulate to answer
d. Deconstruct an example on the board based on the questions

God Card instructions

1) Meet with your assigned groups and get two cards

2) Begin conducting research to answer the following questions
a) Who is the god
b) What aspect does this god represent in the Aztec life (Purpose or job)
c) What is their creation myth in the Aztec culture
d) What ceremonies are they associated with
e) How was this god significant in the Aztec worldview?
3) Some members can complete the visual while others research. Rotate jobs

Huitzilopochtli and Chalchiuhtlicue
Tlaloc and Centeotl
Tonatiuh and Xipe Totec
Tezcatlipoca and Mixcoatl
Quetzalcoatl and Chalchiuhtlicue
Mictlantecuhtli and Xiuhtecuhtli

Common Elements of Creation Myths

-Birth to existence
-Genealogy of gods
-Supreme beings
-Human-animal relationships
-Darkness=Fear. Fire and sin
-Creation of geography and other elements


Lesson Reflection

Related Interests