Teacher Review For Britannica Kids: Aztec Empire

Aztec Empire history presented with articles, media, & games

Lisa B.
Classroom teacher
Hershey Middle School
Hershey, PA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 3
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with General
How I Use It

There are a series of extension activities based on the written articles and the pictures. There is a quiz. The questions on the quiz were challenging and I felt pressured by the clock. You can save the results of the quiz, which could be a check for students completing a station activity. There also many questions in the question bank, so students who take the quiz more than once they would not necessarily get the same questions.

There is series of activities that utilize the great visuals, but they do not provide links to the material. These include a jigsaw puzzle, a magic square, and a memory match game. I was fascinated by the one picture, but there was not button and no shortcut to bring it directly to the answers. That would be a valuable connection for students to be able to make.

One of the activities is called Brush Off. A picture is hidden and you brush off the virtual sand to discover the treasure underneath. It has a vague archaeological feel, without the hours of painstaking labor. Once revealed, you have to choose what the purpose of the objects is. There's a brief summary or exclamation after you get it correct, which reinforces what they have already learned.

My Take

A major strength of the app is the images. I love that you can click on them within the text and have them expand. There's also special section for pics and videos, which is slightly mislabeled since there's only one video. Middle school students love sharing what they find interesting. There's a share option for the pictures that auto creates an email with the image and a couple sentence description of the significance. The student would just have to enter the desired recipients email.

There are articles about many aspects of the Aztec life, culture, and history. There were some phrases that you could click on to see the word defined. Which makes the app more it accessible for younger audiences. The articles do not shy away from death, destruction, and sacrifice which is all part of Aztec more. There was a separate section for the Aztec Gods. The description include art found on buildings, pottery, or elsewhere that represent each of the God. The pronunciation guide or embedded audio file would have been nice; I've no idea how to string together the long combinations of letters that meet up the companies.