Returning to the Americas after the study of the Olmecs and Mayans during our Ancient Civilisations tour was interesting (if not a little more gruesome - with all the human sacrifices!). I am posting a bunch of resources that I found and created for our studies.
I made a few notebook pages to use with our studies. The first is a Quick History of The Aztecs in Pictures. I created some text boxes and prepared some clip art to add to each box. As we discussed the Aztecs - I had my kids add the pictures to the boxes to create a nice notebook page for their books.
I also created some notebook pages for the Aztecs, Incas and the Spanish conquest. You can download the clip art I used from here (to save you time!).
At the start of each study of a new civilisation, we will usually do some map-work to get an idea of where in the world we are and then we'll learn a little more about the geography, culture. climate, fauna and flora of the new place. This time, after a power point presentation that I created to use with the girls as an introduction - I gave them a list of animals and plants that were indigenous to Central and South American and asked them to do some research on them and add them to index cards which slipped into this lapbook piece. They then pasted it onto a piece of cardstock and added it to their books. The list of plants and animals included:
Brazilian nut tree
The power-point presentation can be accessed and downloaded here. (Most of the information on it comes from Wikipedia).
We also watched some excellent videos below about the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica and Michael Palin's trek to the Atacama Desert.
Due to time constraints, we did not do any hands-on activities which I usually like incorporate. You could go into so much more detail with studying the daily life and religion of the Aztecs, their art and craft, farming methods and food, their amazing engineering feats and of course, you have to study all about the fall of the Aztec empire at the hands of the Spaniards. Below is another excellent documentary by the BBC presented by Michael Woods about the fall of the Aztec empire.
Here are some other helpful resources:
http://aztecs.mrdonn.org/ - his site is a goldmine of kid-friendly information, links to powerpoints, games, activities and lesson plans on just about any subject!
Some of the books we used: