Books for Middle America World Geography & Ancient Civilizations

The following is a list of Middle America books available through my public library that I will be reading over the next few months as I build some additional resources for my 6th Grade Social Studies classroom:

You wouldn’t want to be a Mayan soothsayer! : fortunes you’d rather not tell
Matthews, Rupert
Step into the shoes of a Mayan soothsayer’s son and learn about the Mayan culture and religion of ancient Mexico and Central America.

The tale of Rabbit and Coyote
Johnston, Tony
Rabbit outwits Coyote in this Zapotec tale which explains why coyotes howl at the moon.

The woman who outshone the sun : the legend of Lucia Zenteno
Alejandro Cruz
Retells the Zapotec legend of Lucia Zenteno, a beautiful woman with magical powers who is exiled from a mountain village and takes its water away in punishment.

The people and culture of Mexico
Rachael Morlock
Mexico’s resplendent culture is evidence of the rich heritage of its people. Readers will explore the converging cultures that have shaped Mexico, from ancient civilizations such as the Zapotec and Maya, to the French and Spanish. With vibrant photographs and accessible, informative content, readers will learn how the capital was built on a lake by the Aztecs, the contributions Mexican people have made to art, literature, and much more. This multi-faceted analysis of history and culture offers a unique take on curricular social studies.

James Putnam
Looks at the secrets of the monumental structures of the ancient world, from the tombs of Egypt to the pyramids of Central America.

Secrets of ancient cultures. The Maya : activities and crafts from a mysterious land
Arlette N. Braman
Provides a history of the ancient Maya civilization, as well as recipes, games, and directions for crafts based on Mayan culture.
Shadow of the shark
Mary Pope Osborne
As a thank-you from Merlin and Morgan, Jack and Annie are sent on what should be a vacation at a luxurious resort in Cozumel, Mexico, but is, by mistake, an adventure with ancient Mayans, instead.

Sarah Tieck
Introduces the Mayas, including their history, religion, and customs

Where is Chichen Itza?
Manzanero, Paula
Although it’s known more as an important tourist attraction today, the city of Chichen Itza was a powerful religious, political, scientific, and artistic center of the Maya people. Readers will learn about how Chichen Itza began and what happened to cause the downfall of a great society. The book also provides details about the culture of the Maya of Chichen Itza and the stunning architecture they built like the El Castillo pyramid, the Temple of the Warriors, and the massive ball court that was used for games and rituals.”

Sarah Tieck
“This title introduces readers to the Aztec people. Text covers traditional ways of life, including social structure, homes, food, art, clothing, and more. Also discussed is contact with Europeans, as well as how the people keep their culture alive today. Table of contents, map, fun facts, timeline, glossary, and index included.”

Aztec Empire
Lori Dittmer
“This cultural overview of the Aztec Empire situates the reader within the society, describing key aspects of daily life, beliefs, and architectural accomplishments such as the Templo Mayor”

You wouldn’t want to be an Aztec sacrifice! : gruesome things you’d rather not know
Fiona Macdonald 
A humorous and gory look at the ancient Aztec tradition of sacrificing enemy warriors to the gods.

Doctor Coyote : a Native American Aesop’s fables
retold by John Bierhorst 
Coyote is featured in each of these Aztec interpretations of Aesop’s fables. The illustrations are set in the twentieth century.

What picture and young adult books have you used to teach ancient civilizations and world geography in your social studies class?

Until next time – a latte of sparkles & giggles,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.