This fully-resourced unit from Musical Contexts, presented in a newly revised 'easier to navigate' format, draws upon the Ancient Civilization of The Aztecs using maps, plans, places, artefacts, wall paintings, pictures, reconstructions, stories, and myths to open up opportunities for the creating, composing, improvising, and performing of pupil’s own music as a response to some of the issues raised and sources examined.
The unit explores two key musical concepts, over a series of three lessons each: Rondo Form and the Leitmotif. Each of these ‘projects’ could be extended and developed into half a term’s work each, the unit lasting a whole term.
The unit begins with the great city of Tenochtitlan as a stimulus, as pupils work towards creating a class ‘Aztec Rondo’. Taking the winding streets and canals as the class A theme, pupils create a musical journey around the city of Tenochtitlan visiting the Chinampas (floating gardens), market square, war stone, calendar stone and the great palace of Moctezuma as contrasting episodes (B, C, D etc.) within their class ‘Aztec Rondo’.
Pupils listen to an example of music in Rondo Form and sing an ‘Aztec Rondo’ song, to develop their understanding of the ABACADA musical structure, and explore music by composers who have been inspired by similar venues, places, and objects to those in Tenochtitlan.
Aztec myths and legends tell us about the Aztecs way of life, beliefs and religions and provide good stimuli for musical activities. The unit uses the Aztec myth of 'How music was made' to create leitmotifs as character music, which are then developed, altered, varied, and changed according to the mood or situation of that particular appearance in the story.
Like other Musical Contexts units within the Ancient Civilizations group, it is difficult to explore music ‘of the time’, although there are examples of ‘reconstructed Aztec music’. Pupils also explore Aztec musical instruments based upon wall paintings and artefacts, comparing these with modern-day and classroom instruments.
Ancient Civilizations - The Aztecs comes as a fully-resourced 6-lesson package ideal for specialist and non-specialist music teachers. Detailed Lesson Plans feature the Lesson Question and Core Content structured into Intro Quiz/DOITNOW, Lesson Content Activities: Skills, Knowledge and Understanding (with Resources referenced for each task, discussion notes and answers to all activities) and Exit Quizzes, each supported by a Lesson Presentation containing slide notes and embedded media files (also available separately as MP3 and WAV formats).
Each lesson is accompanied by a Worksheet and a unit Knowledge Organiser consolidates key musical knowledge, theory and concepts. A selection of Cover and Homework Activities provides unit-themed work for planned or emergency music cover.
Ancient Civilizations - The Aztecs is available to download upon purchase as a ZIP file where all printables are available as both customisable and editable Word files (.docx) and PDFs (.pdf).
Ancient Civilizations - The Aztecs
- Unit Overview
- 6 Lesson Plans
- 6 Lesson Worksheets
- 6 Lesson PowerPoint Presentations (with embedded media files)
- Knowledge Organiser
- Cover and Homework Activities
- Media Files (all media files included within the unit available as both separate MP3 and WAV formats)