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Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 20: Incas

What will we be learning today?
  • In this lesson, we are going to learn all about the Inca culture.
  • The vocabulary word is empire, conquer, emperor.
Can you find South America?
  • We will begin today's lesson, by finding South America on a map. The Inca live in South America.

What are these words?
  •  empire    : a group of tribes or peoples ruled by a single person

  •  conquer : to take control of a people by war

  •  emperor : the person who rules an empire

Inca Geography

The Inca Empire was in South America. Find South America.

Inca Geography

This is South America.

The yellow shows the Inca Empire.

Inca Geography

The land along the west coast of South America is mostly mountains. The Andes Mountains run along the west coast of South America. The Inca Empire was spread out many miles in the mountians.

Inca Geography

The brown area shows you how big the Inca Empire was. The Inca people live in this area even today.


The Inca began as a few tribes but soon conquered many lands. When the Inca began a government, they set out to conquer surrounding tribes. The Incas conquered more and more people and their empire grew and grew.

  From the continent of Europe came explorers. They came from the country of Spain. The Spanish   came and conquered the Incas for their gold and silver. The Spanish killed all the of Inca's rulers.

Inca Art

The Inca artists used many different materials to make their art. They used stone, silver, gold, bronze, and clay.

They made pottery.

They made weapons.

They wove beautiful cloth.

They made statues.

They made beautiful music with flutes and drums.


The Inca believed in many gods. Their gods were all around them in nature.

They believed their emperor was from the Sun god. The people were called the "Children of the Sun"

They also believed silver was the tears of the moon.
Gold was believed to be the sweat of the sun.

Strong, stone buildings were built on high mountain tops to show the great faith the Inca felt to their gods.

Family and Social Life

The families were placed into different levels.The groups were based on how much land a man owned and how many wives he had.

The lowest group were the slaves and the farmers who made enough food for just their families.

It was very hard to move out of one level and into the next.

Communication and Learning

The Inca Empire was very large. In order to send messages from one place to another runners carried the messages. Smoke signals were used too.

The Inca knew a lot about stars, planets, and used them to tell the seasons. They learned a lot about numbers and how to use them to help keep records.

Only children of the wealthy went to school. Other children learned from their parents and watching those around them.

Food, Shelter, Clothing

The Inca farmers learned to grow a lot of different foods. They grew corn, potatoes, coffee, and grain.

They wore clothes made of cotton and wool. They wore sandals on their feet. Their clothes matched the temperature of where they lived.

Families lived together in the same house with their grandparents. The house were made from clay and bricks.