Oaxaca, Mexico Lesson Plans


Geography and Climate




People and Ethnic Groups

Oaxaca Culture
Day of the Dead Celebration

Flora and Fauna


Create a Travel Brochure


Oaxaca Archaeology


  • To acquire an understanding that archaeology is a field of scientific study of the life and culture of ancient civilizations by excavation and study of cities and artifacts.
  • To learn how archaeologists contribute to our knowledge of ancient cultures and peoples.
  • To discuss how specific ideas and beliefs can have effects on cultures both ancient and current.

suggested Resources/Materials:

  • Paper and pencil
  • Detailed maps of Mexico and Oaxaca state
  • Watercolors or tempera paints
  • Colored markers
  • Chart or heavy duty paper
  • Web sites (See Links below)

The lesson:

Before beginning the study of the Archaeology of Oaxaca have the students complete a KWHL Chart. (K= What Do We Know?; W= What Do We Want To Know?; H= How Do We Find Out?; L= What Have We Learned?). This activity can be done as an entire class or in small groups. If done in small groups, each group will share its chart with the entire class and then the class can do a composite of all the groups.


  • What are the names of the major archaeological sites in the state of Oaxaca?
  • Who built the city of Monte Alban and when? During its peak, how many people lived there?
  • Who were the inhabitants of Mitla and what was their relationship to each other?
  • Describe the outstanding mosaics of the Columns Group at Mitla.
  • What is the most outstanding feature of the ruins at Yagul and why?
  • What is the most outstanding feature of the ruins at Lambityeco?

suggested activities:

  • Draw a map showing all of the ancient cities of Oaxaca state and include the current city of Oaxaca.
  • Draw a picture of one of the treasures found in the tombs at Monte Alban.
  • Put together a model of the mosaics at Mitla.
  • Divide the class into small groups that will research and give an oral report using visual aids, on an ancient archaeological site.
  • Make a list of items to be placed in a time capsule that you think are excellent representations of your culture and times. Explain why you chose the things you did.
  • Describe an archaeological site found in your area.


In addition to paper and pencil tests, teachers could use individual or small group projects, oral reports, mental maps or structured overviews for assessment.  

Vocabulary Search (search box)

Oaxaca web site links


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