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Junior Focus resource magazine n°180, December 2002

Junior Focus resource magazine n°180, December 2002

Scholastic Publications, 2002

An excellent, up-to-date, 24-page teaching magazine dedicated to the Aztecs, with a pull-out A2 colour poster of the Spanish Conquest

Well researched, with every section carefully linked to the teaching requirements of the National Curriculum, QCA Schemes of Work and National Literacy Objectives

4-page ICT pull-out designed to reinforce and develop children’s knowledge of the Aztecs while applying practical ICT skills; involves graded internet research

Several pages of clear and well designed photocopiable sheets to support the articles and activities

Instead of focussing on and profiling the 4 principal gods of the Aztecs (Tlaloc, Huitzilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca) visual references are given to several of the more obscure gods, with no explanation of how the pantheon of gods was constituted. A ‘family tree’ of the most important Aztec gods would have been particularly valuable. (A task for us in the future?!)

A couple of glaring mistakes on the centrepiece fold-out poster on Aztec religion: the famous double-headed serpent mosaic mask in the British Museum is not "a symbol of Tlaloc, the rain god", and the pyramids and temples at Teotihuacan were not Aztec! These mistakes, I would bet my bottom dollar, come from unquestioning acceptance of the captions provided by the big commercial photo libraries to accompany their images

An uncritical review (plus offers of free copies) of ‘The Angry Aztecs’ (see our comments above) is offered in the Resources section - presumably because both publications come from the same Scholastic stable ...?