The Inca – Day 1: The Documentary

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post called Pokémon: Incan God Style!  After some teachers reached out to me asking for more information, I have decided to share the unit step by step with you.

The first step in creating cultural units like this for me is learning about whatever I am about to teach.  I very rarely go into cultural based units knowing much – if anything aside from the main concept – about the unit I am going to teach.  The fastest way I am able to gain foundational knowledge is to watch a documentary, and so this is exactly what I did!

Furthermore, I have never taught this unit and had no preconceived notions about what students should know about the Incas – so why not let my students’ interests guide me?  Students would need a good base knowledge in order to think of what they wanted to know.

We watched National Geographic’s Machu Picchu Decoded Documentary in English.  You can find the documentary here (from Science Discovery) for free, or I’m sure there are other ways to obtain the film.  The documentary is in English, and I’m personally OK with this because I feel like English documentaries at the beginning help pave the groundwork for what I will be teaching them in Spanish.  It helps them make better connections when something is extremely “foreign” to them.

While students watched the documentary, they answered these comprehension questions.  On the third page you will notice that there is a spot for name/date, because truth be told my classes are so short that we watched this documentary over the span of two days and not one!

I’ve started including times of when questions appear on my video sheets.  I’m not sure why I did this exactly.  Maybe to make sure I was paying attention when I previewed the film?  I did show a Frida Kahlo video once, and happened to let a very provocative painting slip my sight that bothered many frehsmen girls!  Whoops!  Or maybe I did this because I’m sick of students complaining and interrupting peers when they don’t have a question answered?  This technique does cut down on that a lot!

Do I think the comprehension questions could be better for next time?  Of course!  Feel free to take what I have an improve it – as long as you share it freely with others (including me, ahem!) as well!

Stay tuned for The Inca – Day 2!  In the future, you will be able to check out all my Inca Unit lesson plans here.

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4 thoughts on “The Inca – Day 1: The Documentary

  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    I love reading your blogs. Thank you so much for all the wonderful inspiration. I was unable to open the comprehension questions. It said something like the folder is no longer available in Drive.
    Thanks!

  2. Pingback: The Inca – Day 2: The Documentary Part 2 + KWL + Essential Questio | La Clase de la Señora Dentlinger

  3. Pingback: The Inca – Day 3: TPRS Story of the Creation Myth | La Clase de la Señora Dentlinger

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