Seventh Grade Recreates Aztec City

Seventh graders from Highlands Middle School recreated Tenochtitlan, an Aztec City, in a cross-curricular project that included history, art and writing. The students collaborated ideas from Ms. Tracy Eck's and Mr. Tyler Kirin's course lessons. The result, a detailed landscape detailing specific locations and historical figures in the era, sprawled the entire width of the HMS stage! Read below for information detailing the project, illustrated in the photo show above, or click here to read the information distributed to parents about the city.
      "The Aztec people built the city of Tenochtitlan in the Middle of Lake Texcoco amidst a swampy environment.  The Aztec Gods had told them to built their capital where they found an eagle gripping a snake in its talons and low and behold, this was the spot they saw this rare feat take place.


      Tenochtitlan was broken up in to 4 main districts.  There were 3 suburbs that all included housing, schools, temples, a market place, and floating gardens (an invention they used to plant crops).   These districts were heavily populated and were also the main source of food for the entire city.



      There were four distinct types of schooling the Aztecs attended.  They had a religious, war, community, and citizenship school in which young men and a few lucky women attended.  The wealthy students went to a private school and the poor students stayed at home and learned how to plant crops.  Each job was passed down from father to son and there was no movement in class structure unless you were lucky enough to make a lot of money selling goods that you produced.



      An aqueduct, or pipe used to channel fresh water in to the city was used because they were on a lake and had no usable water to drink (after they bathed and used the restroom in the lake itself).  These pipes brought fresh water in from the mountains and helped provide the people with a safe solution to the problem of thirst. There was also an aqueduct that led dirty water out of the city.



      In the center square is where the ball court, palace of emperor Montezuma,  Rack of Skulls, calendar stone, 2 temples dedicated to the eagle and sun, and the main temple of worship were located.  It was at this main temple that a priest would sacrifice a prisioner to the gods and the crowds would fight below for a piece of human flesh or dinner.



      The Spanish arrived in 1521 with the aid of other Indian tribes from the surrounding area and took the Aztec people over.  They were led by Hernan Cortes.  They also had superior weapons, horses, and diseases that helped weaken the Aztec empire in their favor." 



      Thank you so much for coming to see our project and it is Ms. Eck, and Mr. Kirins pleasure to present to you: Tenochtitlan, City on the Lake!



 - Excerpt from newsletter information produced by seventh grade HMS teachers, Ms. Eck and Mr. Kirin.