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 History


  • To gain an understanding of the ancient history of Mexico.
  • To learn about the history of the state of Oaxaca.
  • To learn about the ancient peoples who inhabited the area and to understand the effect those people have on modern day Oaxaca.

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 history of Mexico 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.


  • How far back does the known history of Mexico go? When is the "high point" considered to be?
  • What is the name of the ancient city close to the modern city of Oaxaca that was built during the Classic Period? What was the name of the people who inhabited it?
  • What other people have inhabited the area?
  • What are the primary languages spoken in the state of Oaxaca?
  • Why do you think the indigenous people are still fighting for their rights in the rural areas of Oaxaca?

suggested activities:

  • Construct a model of the ancient city of Monte Alban.
  • Draw a chart showing all of the different groups of people who have inhabited the Oaxaca valleys and the periods of time they lived there.
  • Make up a list of reasons why you think the ancient city of Monte Alban was abandoned.
  • Conduct a round table discussion on the influences the Spanish might have had on the indigenous people and discuss how things might have been different if the Spanish had not conquered the country.


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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