Activities to Teach Students the Foundations of Inca Civilization

The Inca civilization is a fascinating and complex period in world history. Teaching students about the Inca civilization is a great way to help them learn about different cultures, geography, and history. There are several activities that can be used to teach students about the foundations of the Inca civilization.

1. Map Activity

Start by introducing students to the geography of the Inca civilization. One way to do this is with a map activity. Provide each student with a blank map of South America and some colored pencils or markers. Ask them to locate the Andes Mountains, Amazon Rainforest, Pacific Ocean, and the current countries of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Then have them draw the ancient Inca Empire on the map, along with its major cities and landmarks.

2. Machu Picchu Virtual Tour

Machu Picchu is one of the most famous landmarks of the Inca civilization. Students can take a virtual tour of Machu Picchu and learn about its history and architecture. Have a discussion with them about why this ancient city was built, its significance, and how it was constructed.

3. Inca Writing System

The Inca civilization had a unique writing system called quipus. These were a series of knots tied in strings of various colors, lengths, and thicknesses. Use this activity to teach students about the basics of the quipus system. Providing colored strings, scissors, charts, and graph paper to students, instruct them to create their own quipus based on numerical equations or stories.

4. Inca Engineering & Agriculture

Inca civilization was known for advanced engineering and agriculture techniques. To further understanding, include activities such as building model terraces in science class as well as the creation of a “Model Irrigation System”, which uses materials like straws, plastic tubing, and yarn to demonstrate the workings of an Inca irrigation system.

5. Inca Clothing and Accessories

Clothing and accessories – such as the traditional woven ponchos and hats- are another crucial component of Inca civilization. Set up a “Weaving Station” in the classroom where students can learn how to make bracelets and headbands using the traditional Inca weaving techniques that were employed.

6. Inca Mythology

Inca mythology offers a unique and multilayered depiction of their gods and goddesses. One way to explore this is by having the students research the various gods and goddesses of the Inca pantheon, including the sun god Inti or the goddess of the earth Pachamama. Students can then role-play and enact some of the tales related to these figures.

In conclusion, teaching students about the Inca civilization can be both exciting and enlightening. These activities can offer a fun and interactive way to introduce the students to the Inca civilization’s different facets, helping them improve their historical knowledge and cultural understanding in a practical and hands-on way.

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