Complete document for all three sessions of Maya, Aztec, and Incan civilizations. This is a large file and should be downloaded (right-click on link) and viewed in Adobe Reader.

Session 2: Examining the Physical Environment of the Incan Civilization

The physical environment provides the setting for the development of civilizations. Through the interpretation and analysis of a series of maps, students identify possible challenges faced by the Incan civilization. During the learning activity students gather information about the physical environment (location, topography, climate, and vegetation) from maps and record their observations in a chart. At the conclusion of the information-gathering phase students respond to a series of questions. Students then make predictions about the effects of the physical environment on social, political, and economic development of the civilization

Key Questions

  • What characteristics distinguished the physical environment of the Incan civilization?
  • How does location influence the development of a civilization
  • How did the Incas overcome the limitations of their physical environment?

Note:The following files contain layered pdfs. In order to manipulate the map layers, you must download each file.


Lesson with attachments This is a large file and should be downloaded (right-click on link) and read in Adobe Reader.

Lesson without attachments


Teacher Notes

Using Layered Portable Document Files (pdfs)

WH1.11a Teacher Resources

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To Session 3.

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