Indigenous People of Central America

The program begins with an exploration of the ancient civilizations of the Toltecs, Olmecs, Aztecs and Maya.  With a focus on the Maya, students learn about environmental and cultural changes that occurred before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.  Students will also understand how the Maya live today and learn about the traditions they continue to keep.  Upon request, we end with a discussion of the issues the Indigenous people of Central America face within their existing governments and the experiences of Central American immigrants in the United States.

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Educational Standards

Common Core

Teachers needing to meet standards will find that Indigenous People of Central America addresses Common Core ELA standards by teaching students how to act like historians, use cultural objects as primary resources, “read” cultural objects, and use academic vocabulary.  Exposure to this program will also help students “come to understand other perspectives and cultures.”*

* Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, page 7


Additional Rhode Island Standards

Civics & Government: Standards C&G 5(7-8)-1; C&G 5(K-8)-2
Historical Perspectives: Standards HP 1(K-8)-1; HP 2(5-8)-2; HP 2(K-8)-3; HP 3(5-6)-1; HP 3(K-8)-2
Visual Art and Design:  Standards VA&D 2(K-8)-1; VA&D 3(5-8)-2

Massachusetts Standards

Social Science (Gr. 4): 4.24; 4.25; 4.28; (Gr. 5): 5.2
Science and Technology (K-2): Life Sciences 1, 6, 8; (3-5) 8&10
Arts (Gr. 4):  Visual Arts: Standards 1, 5