These flag books are a classroom project made by my students while we studied Mesoamerica in ancient civilizations. Across the top you see the Olmec culture which was the “mother culture” for many of the later Central American and Mexican cultures. Next we studied the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Finally we transitioned to the Pacific Northwest Coastal Tribes.
So when you read across you are reading about one particular culture. Additionally there is vertical alignment according to different topics (think Jeopardy). First topic is artistic expression, followed by historical dates/boundaries, then innovation, economy, government, people, religion, and origins/creation story. Because of the vertical alignment, it was easier for my students to compare the civilizations when they had to write about them.
Each student made their own book while we worked on that civilization. The final piece of the project was the cover artwork which each student was individually responsible for. It was to show their understanding of the civilizations. As with any project, students showed their knowledge in varying ways and to varying degrees.
Immediately after finishing these flag books, I traveled to Guatemala for Global Village (Habitat for Humanity’s international arm). The Mayan culture is very much alive in the region around Lake Atitlán where we worked. One of my student’s parents are from Guatemala so we had a strong, personal connection to our studies.
The flag books made a great impression during recent parent conferences. It was a nice way to show our learning and I hope the students value their Mesoamerican Flag Book enough to keep them for a long time.