History Storytime - For Kids

The Aztecs

November 1, 2021

Sophie (age 8) and Ellie (age 6) tell the story of the mighty Aztec Empire.

The Aztecs ruled central America for hundreds of years. They conquered it from other countries. They were fierce warriors. Their capital was called Tenochtitlan. This is now the capital of Mexico. Back then it was an island on a lake. It had gleaming white palaces and Pyramids with temples on the tops of them.

Religion was very important to the Aztecs. They practiced human sacrifice. This is where they would kill people to make the Gods happy. They used to capture enemies and sacrifice them. They would even sometimes go to war in order to capture people for sacrifice.

Family was also very important to the Aztecs. The men would work as farmer or would have a trade like being a potter. The women would stay at home and cook for the family. All children went to school – including girls. At boys’ school, the boys learned a trade and how to fight. At girls’s school, the girls learned to dance, sing and how to cook. Aztec children were very polite and were taught not to complain about anything or to interrupt anyone.

The Aztecs also loved playing games. They had a game called Patolli which was like a boardgame. They also had a game called Ullamalitzi which was a ball game with a rubber ball.

The Aztecs had their own language. Many Aztec words later became Spanish words and some of those because English words. We get words like tomato, coyote and avocado from Aztec. Aztecs also loved chocolate. They were one of the first people to use chocolate. They made it into a drink. We get the word, chocolate, from them too.

The mighty Aztec empire fell because of the Spanish.

Spain had discovered the Caribbean with Columbus. Later though the Spanish wanted the riches of the Aztecs for themselves. They landed a small army under a man called Hernan Cortez. Cortez’s army might be small but he had guns and horses and the Aztecs had neither. The first thing that Cortez did was make friends with people that the Aztecs had conquered. Together they marched on the Aztec capital. The Aztec King tried to make friends with the Spanish. However, the Spanish wanted to conquer their country. Fighting started. Some of the Spanish soldiers got scared and wanted to go home. However, Cortez burned their own ships. Now the Spanish had to win or die.

The Spanish had accidentally brought Smallpox with them from Europe. The Aztecs had no experience of smallpox. It killed half of the Aztec population, including many of its leaders. The Spanish defeated the Aztecs and conquered their Empire and took their gold.

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