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“Historia de Xochitl”

Module by: Lorena Gauthereau-Bryson. E-mail the author

Summary: This module provides a lesson plan that uses the excerpt “Historia de Xochitl” from the historical book, "Historia Moral de las Mujeres," to introduce students to the Toltec culture. It includes study questions, a link to the excerpt, and a link to a vocabulary list. It is mean to intermediate to advanced Spanish students (AP Spanish or college-level).

Introduction

The excerpt "Historia de Xochitl" comes from the historical book, Historia Moral de las Mujeres (pp. 433-435). The complete book is freely available on the Our Americas Archive Partnership website. This excerpt can be presented to students in its original Spanish version or translated English version to introduce the Toltec culture. The glossary, Vocabulary list: "Historia de Xochitl", can be used alongside this reading passage and lesson plan.

Summary

"Historia de Xochitl" (“The Tale of Xochitl”) recounts how the Toltec king falls in love with the noble Papantzin's daughter, Xochitl, and tricks her into staying at the castle. When Papantzin is finally able to see his daughter again, he complains to the king, who then promises to make his and Xochitl’s son his heir to the throne. The king keeps his promise and Meconetzin (known as King Topiltzin) rose to the throne. Soon after, however, the kingdom fell into disorder. Natural disasters punished the people for their crimes; and the lords of Jalisco, believing they had rights to the throne, invaded the kingdom. This led to a war and Topiltzin’s army ultimately loses. This, according to the legend, then led to the dispersing of the Toltec people.

Figure 1: Quetzalcoatl the "quetzal bird-snake god" was worshiped by the Toltecs, Olmecs, Mixtecs, Aztecs, and Maya
Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl

Objectives

  • To read and understand a Spanish passage.
  • To learn about a Toltec legend (culture).
  • To learn new vocabulary.

Materials

Activity

  • Read the excerpt “Historia de Xochitl”/“The Tale of Xochitl” (pp.433-435).
  • Look up new vocabulary in a dictionary or on the vocabulary list/glossary.
  • Discuss content and answer questions about the text.

Questions

  • ¿Cuáles eran los personajes más importantes del cuento?
  • ¿Quién era Papantzin?
  • ¿Qué significa el nombre “Xochitl”?
  • ¿Quién era el bebé que cargaba Xochitl en el jardín?
  • ¿Qué significa “Meconetzin”?
  • ¿Qué evento causó problemas en el reino tolteca?
  • ¿Cuáles eran las calamidades naturales que castigaron los delitos del pueblo?
  • ¿Qué hizo Topiltzin después de que se cumplió el plazo convenido?
  • ¿Cuál ejército ganó la batalla?
  • ¿En dónde se refugió el ejercito que fue derrotado (perdió)?
  • ¿Qué le pasó al resto de los Toltecas?

Questions (English version)

  • Who were the most important characters in this story?
  • Who was Papantzin?
  • What does the name “Xochitl” mean?
  • Who was the baby that Xochitl was holding in the garden?
  • What does “Meconetzin” mean?
  • What even caused problems in the Toltec kingdom?
  • What were the natural disasters that punished the people’s crimes?
  • What did Topiltzin do after the conclusion of the stipulated time?
  • Which army won the battle?
  • Where did the losing army seek refuge?
  • What happened to the rest of the Toltec people?

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Definition of a lens

Lenses

A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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