This lesson plan aligns with the episode “‘La lengua’: Malintzin, the Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica, and the Legacy of the Translator in Mexico”

  • Content area: History/Early Americas + European Exploration
  • Target audience: 11th/12th grade or undergraduate survey
  • Suggested length: three periods

Standards/Objectives: At the conclusion of these three lessons, student should be able to:

  1. Identify why creating a definitive biography of Malintzin is challenging and what information about her historians can theorize
  2. Assess Malintzin’s role in facilitating Cortés’ conquest of Mexico and her motivations in assuming the identity
  3. Chronologically trace Cortés’ contact with the indigenous peoples of Mexico, native resistance to his incursion, and the ultimate establishment of Spanish control as a result of disease and military force
  4. Analyze how and why Malintzin’s portrayal has changed over time and how her treatment reflects an evolving understanding of Spanish colonization of Mexico specifically and European colonialism generally

The full lesson plan and materials, including primary source analysis activities, discussion questions, and more

Lesson plan created by Hanna Van Reed