The meeting between Atahualpa, emperor of the Inca Empire, and Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistador, was a defining moment in Latin American history. In this Opening Up the Textbook (OUT) lesson plan, students read a textbook account of the event followed by two primary sources to answer this question: Did Atahualpa hold the Bible to his ear?

Image source: Portrait of Atahualpa from Peru in the mid-18th century. Retrieved from the Brooklyn Museum.


The play Royal Hunt for the Sun also attempts to capture this moment. If your students aren't great actors, one might look at how the script imagines the events with a bit of presentism overlaid.
I adjusted the PowerPoint to suit the standard that we were addressing and added more at the beginning then used the lesson. The kids found it really interesting. I had the kids act out how things may have "gone down" between Atahualpa and the priest. They thought out loud how an emperor might feel being treated that way and what it meant to be educated. It was a great lesson on perspective and on who writes history. It generated a lot of discussion and parallels. Great lesson!
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