Mrs. Ball's 7th Grade Class

Civilizations in the Americas



By the late 1400s, the Americas had developed a rich culture. The area that is now Mexico was inhabited by the Aztecs. The Incas populated the western coast of South America. In North America, within the Eastern Woodlands area tribes known as Mound builders made their home. All three tribes had distinct differences as well as similarities. They followed many different ways of life, but all three had to adapt to their environments.

For this project, you will investigate how each civilization developed, flourished, and adapted to and interacted with their environment. Your presentation should include as many points from the list below as possible

The geography teams will investigate the environment and physical terrain of the specific regions. The students will present possible reasons why the different cultures adapted to or changed their environments the way they did. They will show the locations of major cities or villages from their corresponding culture. Please review the points below as a reference to include in your presentation.


  • Each group will create a Power Point presentation.
  • You may choose to create a three - dimensional model or a poster.
  • A study guide or some form of review must be presented after your presentation. (You may be creative here and substitute a review game.)
  • A single page typewritten report must be turned in.
  • Remember to maintain a working bibliography, as you must turn in a bibliography typed in correct format.


1. What time period did your people live in? Develop a multi-tiered time line which shows what was happening in other parts of the world.

2. Were there any major events for this civilization?

3. What technological advances were made and what prompted these advances?

4. Did they interact with or conquer other peoples?

5. What adaptations or changes did they make to their environment?


1. Describe the physical location, longitude and latitude coordinates, hemisphere, major cities, rivers, mountains, valleys, deserts, and any other land form you encounter.

2. Describe the year round climate, including any potential for flooding or drought.

3. Give a general overview of the environment such as rain forests, animals, or any other factors that would have influenced the early culture.

4. List any difficulties the environment posed to its inhabitants. You may add examples of artifacts from this region.


Click here for web resources that can be starting points for your investigation. Remember to use your text book, library books, any books from Mrs. Whiteley's room as resources also.

    FAQ'S (Frequently Asked Questions)

    When is this due?
    • You should be ready to present on Monday, April 25. Remember to do the best you can with the time allowed. (If your clay models will not dry by then, do something different!)
    • You will be given class time to work on this. Time at home will also be necessary, however, your group does not have to meet outside the classroom if that is not feasible. Divide the work and responsibilities !
    • Time will only be extended for extreme circumstances; Projects that are not complete will suffer in point value.
    Will I receive a grade for this?
    • You will receive a group score of sixty-five points for the combined presentations. (20 PPT, 20 Model/Poster, 20 Review Material, 5 Bibliography)
    • Every member of the group will receive the same score. If you have a group member who is not contributing, you must follow the procedure we discussed in class.

    1. You will discover the connection between the environment and the development of cultures.

    2. You will appreciate that cultures must adapt to environments in order to survive. Those that can not adapt do not last long!

    3. You will be able to locate the geographic regions for the three cultures and compare and contrast them.

    4. Specifically, you will identify the innovations in building and farming methods developed by the Aztecs, Incas, and the Mississippian (Mound Builders) Cultures.


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