A Guided Tour of Peru, 2016.

A Guided Tour of Peru is a curated photo essay for use in middle and high school social studies classrooms.  The essay offers a brief, completely non-comprehensive overview of Peruvian history and culture circa 2016 and is meant to present these topics in an unconventional way – that is, as if the student were travelling through, wandering, and exploring Peru on their own.  Explore the streets of Cusco and Lima, scramble through Inca ruins from Machu Picchu on down, take a slow boat up the Amazon River from Iquitos, and an even slower boat across Lake Titicaca to the floating man-made islands of the Uros.

Feel free to use and enjoy this collection in anyway you see fit, but a few ideas include the following bare bones prompts:

  1.  Choose any topic described in a photo or caption in this album. Do deeper reading and research on that topic, creating a presentation to share with your class.
  2. Research and plan a realistic travel itinerary through modern-day Peru that focuses specifically on its Inca, pre-Inca, and colonial histories. Explain the historical or cultural relevance of your choices. Present the final itinerary with photos and estimated costs for the whole trip.


Related lessons on Open Ended Social Studies include:

The Inca: Andean Civilization in the Realm of the Four Parts (Free online text suited for middle or high school classroom use, guided reading questions, and suggested activities): The tremendous success of the Inca was attained by harnessing and adapting the incredible achievements of the earlier peoples of the Andes, one of only six places in the world where civilization developed independently.  

Potosi and the Globalization of an Empire (Free online text suited for middle or high school classroom use, guided reading questions, and suggested activities):  Globalization is nothing new – the indigenous peoples slaving away in the Potosi mines 500 years ago could tell you all about it, while Europeans cracked the whip in order to buy Asian-made goods at affordable prices. Add in the fact that the mines were supplied with food and coca by African slaves laboring away in the low lands, and you have a template for the modern integrated global economy – exploitation, unequal rewards, and all.