Social studies

third term

Performance indicator


  • Explica fenómenos sociales y culturales que permitieron el paso del nomadismo al sedentarismo. (En inglés)
  • Identifica las características sociales y culturales de las tribus indígenas americanas (En inglés) 


 Propone posibles soluciones ante los conflictos que se presentan en las diferentes actividades que se proponen



Muestra interés por superar sus dificultades a partir del trabajo constante y cumplimiento en la elaboración y entrega de sus trabajos y talleres.


1. Nomadism and Sedentary

2. Mayas, Aztecs and Incas

3. Indigenous Tribes of Colombia


Who am I?


A Nomad.


Nomads are people that do not stay in one place and wander in search of food. They usually have a herd of cattle that they move around with themselves. They do not have permanent settlements  and make temporary houses.


We all know that the Early men were nomads. They lived in trees and caves. These people did not know agriculture. They stayed in one place as long as there was a steady source of food supply. Once the food was scarce they moved to another place rich in food supply. They had domesticated the dog and cattle. The cattle provided them with milk and meat and the dog was a good hunting companion. So they got their protein and calcium but what about carbohydrates? Well, roots, berries nuts and fruits provided them with sufficient nutrition.


Do Nomads exist in these times as well? Yes, they do. Around 30 -40 million people, follow the nomadic lifestyle. These nomads live in groups called bands or tribes. They can mostly be divided into three groups – Hunters and gatherers, pastoral tribes and peripatetic nomads.. While early men were mostly hunters and gatherers, the nomads in today’s times are mostly pastoral tribes. The pastoral nomads raise their cattle and live in communities. When the pastures deplete they move to greener pastures. Some nomads like the Mongolian tribes only move when there is a change of season.  Some of the nomads are also craftsmen or merchants and they move around to make a sale of goods. These nomads that sustain by selling their crafts are called peripatetic tribes. Romani gypsies would be a good example of peripatetic tribes.


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During the Archaic Period of 12,000 years ago, humans began trading with each other and cultivating farmland. If the land was rich enough for hunting and farming, people tended to build permanent dwellings and start communities. If they couldn’t find good land, they stayed on the move. This period was marked by three distinct groups of people: sedentary, who had permanent dwellings; semi-sedentary, who moved every few years; and non-sedentary, who were entirely migratory.


Sedentary groups are based on intensive agriculture. So, this is where we find sort of a complex way of cultivating the starting with maize, and then moved on to squash, and other kind of products. Sedentary people have stable towns and villages, precisely because they can stay on the ground and cultivate.


Eventually, the Sedentary peoples would create the empire civilizations of the Aztec of Meso-America, and the Inca of South America. Semi-sedentary cultures, like the Eastern Woodland Indian cultures in North America, would also build villages and community centers, but there was a difference. They would continue to migrate every few years.


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Videos: Paleolithic and Neolithic

the mayas

Nobody knows where they came from, but about 2,400 years ago, a new tribe of people appeared in Central America. They settled in the rainforests of the Yucatan Peninsula. They were called the Maya Indians. They were very clever people. They set about making cities in the rainforest. They did not use metal tools. They used stone tools, wood tools, and tools made from shells. They were skilled builders. They built palaces, temples, pyramids, walls, homes. They built hundreds of beautiful cities.


Maya people had a class structured society. At the top were the nobles and priests. They had a middle class of craftsmen, traders, and warriors. At the bottom, as usually in ancient time, were the farmers and slaves.


The Maya did not use their own people as slaves. Slaves were captured from other tribes.

Archaeologists have pieced together a great deal about the ancient Maya daily life from the artifacts they have found in the ruins of Maya Cities. These artifacts include pottery, clay figures, huge statues, and the remains of pyramids and temples.


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the aztecs

The Aztec wandered around Mexico for about 200 years before they settled down in the Valley of Mexico. Other tribes were living in the area. Rather than start a war for a place to live, the Aztecs settled down peacefully (at first) in the swampy land around Lake Texcoco.

They were clever people. They adapted to their environment. They built canoes to fish and hunt. They filled the marshes with a combination of reeds and stones and dirt to create more farmland. They built dams and dikes to free even more land. Their engineers successfully built a bustling city, with wide plazas and many shops, on a swamp.


After they had settled in, the Aztec Indians began conquering neighboring tribes. Soon, the entire Valley of Mexico was under their control. Other tribes had to pay tribute to them in the form of food, clothing, goods, and captives to feed the hungry Aztec gods. The Aztec believed in human sacrifice. That was one of the many reasons the other tribes hated and feared the Aztec. But the Aztec seemed unstoppable.


It was not until the 1500s, when the Spanish arrived, that the Aztec were conquered. The Spanish brought guns, dogs, horses, and disease. It was disease that conquered the Aztec. The Aztec Empire collapsed. The Spanish took over the entire region.


Today, in Mexico, there are about one million descendants of the ancient Aztec, living and working. Human sacrifice is no longer part of their festivals (thank goodness!), but beautiful Aztec art and clever Aztec games are still enjoyed today.


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inca empire

The Inca empire started as a small tribe who lived in the village of Cuzco, high in the Andes Mountains of South America. One day, another tribe tried to conquer them. Thanks to Pachacuti , the king's son, the Incas won! That was the beginning of the Inca empire.

Over the next 100 years, the Inca conquered tribe after tribe until their empire stretched nearly the entire length of western South America. It was one of the largest empires in the world. At it's height, it was over 2,500 miles long and about 500 miles wide, tucked high in the Andes Mountains.

They had a strong central government. There was almost no crime as punishment was harsh. They had a strong army. They had roads and bridges and aqueducts. The government cared for the sick and old. They invented terrace farming to make farming easier on the sharp mountain slopes. They had stores of food they distributed to all people in times of drought.

Most people were farmers, but the Inca also had specialized professions like weavers who made fabulous textiles, and musicians who created new instruments like the pan pipe. The Inca invented many things. They believed in many gods.

About 100 years after they had grown into an empire that stretched the length of South America, the Spanish conquered the Inca civilization. Today, in South America, in the modern county of Peru, you can still find ancestors of the incredible Incas.


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