History Resources: Aztec, Mayan and Inca

Studying Ancient Mexico and South America is fascinating. The cultures of Mesoamerica still have living descendants, so it’s almost like studying living history. And since new discoveries are being made all the time, even if you think you know all about the Mayans, Aztec and Incas, there’s always something new to learn. So I put together a list of the Aztec, Mayan and Inca history resources we used in our homeschool.

The Incas, Mayans and Aztec had cultures that were flourishing at the same time as the Romans, Greeks, and throughout the Medieval eras. They ended with the Spanish conquistadors, but many of the cities, towns, villages and significant sites are excavated or even still in use today.

The Aztec, Mayan and Inca history resources:

I love using living books to study history. And reading the stories of Mesoamerica is both familiar and exotic. It’s familiar because the location and geography is more familiar, living here in the Western hemisphere, but the customs and appearances of Mesoamerican cultures is still unusual and exciting. Yet, some of the cultural hallmarks are incredibly similar to other ancient cultures, such as hieroglyphics, pyramids, and the mythological stories.

Picture books:

Picture books offer an easy-access way for even young children to be able to study history. For Aztecs, Incas & Mayans, there are some very cool books that offer bilingual text and will even help teach your child simple words and phrases in Spanish or Portuguese. So here are a few of our favorites:

Read-aloud or Chapter Books:

Aztec, Mayan and Inca history resources offer tantalizingly familiar, yet still excitingly exotic stories. And so the historical fiction set in this time period are often unexpectedly thrilling. Try these read-alouds with your kids — or let them read them for themselves!

For non-fiction & informative reading:

As I’ve said before, my favorite series are the DK Eyewitness, and the “You Wouldn’t Want to be… ” series. Mesoamerican resources are plentiful, because their ruins and history are relatively accessible. Here are some of the resources we’ve found most helpful.

Multimedia options

Mesoamerican archaeology has been ongoing since the days of the Spanish conquistadors in the 14th century. Most explorers and archaeologists were really treasure hunters and looters, rather than true historians and scientists, so much has been damaged or lost. But there are still unexplored cities and sites in the high reaches of the Andes or buried in the jungles.

Here are a couple of the more interesting documentaries we’ve watched.

Activities you can do:

These lapbooks and unit studies make fantastic activities to help guide your learning:

Other Resources:

Here are some interactive websites that will help you and your kids learn more about Mesoamerica:

Plus don’t forget to go to a museum and see Aztec, Mayan or Incan artifacts for yourselves! Aztec, Mayan and Inca history resources are widely studied, so there’s probably some near you.

You may also like:
Egyptian History
Mesopotamian History
Chinese History
Roman History

What’s your favorite way to study history? Do you prefer to watch it, read about it, or get hands-on?

2 thoughts on “History Resources: Aztec, Mayan and Inca”

  1. This is the first year of teaching world cultures and I would love to check out the two videos you have already curated, but neither link works. I was wondering if you could tell me The titles and where to find them.

    1. RaisingRoyalty

      Thank you for letting me know! I’ve updated the links and you should be able to view these ones.

      There are tons of documentaries and history shows on YouTube. We like Expedition Unknown, Peter David Documentaries, National Geographics and Timeline History for interesting and educational history and science.

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