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B6. Stories and Legends

NSHS-B6 Leyendas y cuentos
Novice high proficiency goal

Misterio de los Aztecas
Spanish 2 Performance-Based Final
Los Aztecas Prezi
Tablero de anuncios

Official home page for the Misterio de los Aztecas

Student praise for the Misterio de los Aztecas:

The thing that I liked best about the Misterio was:    

  • "The Misterio is like a big game.  It's a fun way to use Spanish."
  • "I liked being able to have the freedom of doing things at our own pace."
  • "The excitement of discovering new facts about the Aztecs, and also about Mexico City."
  • "It was very interactive, and it was fun having everyone working together."
  • "Getting to work independently, but also with a group."
  • "When we finished a step it was a really good feeling."
  • "It is the funnest part of Spanish!"
  • "I loved all of the puzzles like Sudoku and the puzzle pieces."
  • "Everything over all, it was really enjoyable."
  • "Everything!  It's a challenge but it's the funnest activity we do in Spanish."
  • "It's hard but fun because when you find out who someone is you feel super genius!"
Do you think that we should do a regular final instead of the Misterios?  Why or why not?
[Note: not one student surveyed has ever answered yes to this question.]
  • "HECK NO! The Misterio is a great learning and teamwork building experience."
  • "Definitely not!  The Misterio is as fun as you make it, and you don't have as much freedom with a regular final."
  • "NO! Because I liked it."
  • "No.  The Misterio made me want to work harder to beat it.  I know I probably wouldn't do as good on a paper and pencil test."
  • "No, I think the Misterio allows you to actually APPLY what you learn which makes me at least feel like I know more."
  • "No.  This is way funner then [sic] a normal final."
  • "NO!  I love the Mystery."
  • "NO!  The Misterio is the Bees Knees!"
  • "I don't think we should do a regular final because the Misterios are fun and challenging."


Spanish 2 learners have the option to participate in the Misterio de los Aztecas in lieu of a traditional final exam.  To be eligible, the learner must have a passing grade for Semester 1 (at a minimum of Proficient).  No student without a passing grade for Semester 2 may progress past Paso 2.  The Mystery is an extensive group-based performance assessment that requires about three weeks to complete.  Each learner must be present and actively participating in helping the group solve the Mystery in order to receive the points earned by the group.  Any points lost for refusing to participate (including but not limited to truancy, wasting time, working on something other than the Mystery, randomly surfing the Internet, sleeping, etc.) cannot be made up.  The instructor is the final judge of whether or not you are actively participating.

The Mystery is comprised of 4 pasos, or steps.  Each paso is worth 100 points, for a total of 400 points.  Your personal grade will be prorated as a percentage of the total group points, based on your level of participation.  The only way to make up excused absences is to come in and work on the Mystery outside of class time, hour for hour.  In addition, the learner that submits the winning Piedra del Sol (coloring contest to be judged by an impartial teacher) will individually earn 30 extra points, and second place will earn 20 extra points.   It is recommended that you work on your Piedra de Sol only during class when you need to take a short break or reach your frustration point with the puzzles: it should not be your primary focus.  You should mainly work on it outside of class, if you choose to work on it at all.  It is not required.

The Piedra del Sol is the only part of the Mystery that may be taken out home with you.  Taking any other part of the Mystery out of the classroom with you, manipulating the electronic or other media to work around straightforward solution of the problems, or working on the Mystery online on your own time, will be considered cheating and will be handled as outlined below.

The Mystery contains both online and traditional components.  All the information needed to solve the mystery can be found by following the links in given to you by the instructor, and are located on the Intranet (our local network).  You may use the real Internet (live sites off the network) to look for information, but this is somewhat dangerous and potentially misleading.  Just as in any research, consider the source of your information before you trust it.

You are expected to work hard and participate actively in helping the other members of your group.  The Mystery will reward you with both learning new material and using your existing skills.  Although the puzzles may at times stump you, be assured that learners have solved them successfully for nearly a decade, so there is no need to cheat.  Use the resources available to you (your notes, textbooks, paper dictionaries and reference books, your group members, the Intranet sites, and your common sense and ingenuity) and remember that sometimes you have to mull things over for awhile before you think of the right approach.  If you hit a brick wall, step back, re-evaluate, and discuss the problem with your group.  Often the person who has the right strategy to solve a puzzle is the person you least expect.  At all times, teamwork is the key to success.

Your group will have the opportunity to pay a “mordida” to a confidential informant to get a hint if you are truly stuck.  Pool your pesos with your group members and consult with them before spending your limited funds.  Someone in your group must submit a request for information via Edmodo  and the request will be answered the same way.  Be careful how you word your question: the quality and usefulness of the hint you will get in return depends on the clarity and specificity of your request.


Your personal score will be determined as follows:

     Group total points x percentage of time you were present to contribute to the group

     Example: 350 group, present 8 out of 10 days = 80% of 350 or 280 points out of 400

     The only way you can make up an hour of absence is to come in on your own time for an hour and work on the Misterio before your group finishes.

     Only excused points can be made up.  Work hard while you’re in the classroom!






Personal Score:

10-50 points


Academic dishonesty

Personal Score:

51-279 points

Personal Score:

280-319 points

Personal Score:

320-349 points

Personal Score:

350 points or more

Must take Final PA before or during Finals Week

Must take Final PA before or during Finals Week

Option to take Final PA to level up during Finals Week

Option to take Final PA to level up during Finals Week

Student Choice during Finals Week



Students are expected, as always, to abide by school and classroom guidelines.  Cheating will not be tolerated.  You must do your own work, using only the sanctioned resources. 

The following activities will be considered cheating:

·        Consulting with persons (other than the instructor) who are not learner members of your group.  This includes communication in person, electronically, by telephone, etc.

·        Using electronic translator software of any kind to look up more than one word at a time or to translate all or part of a website.  This includes but is not limited to:  Google Language Tools, AltaVista Translator, iTools, etc.  It is OK to look individual words electronically (as if you were using a dictionary) on  Even on this site, however, you may not use the Translation features. 

·        Taking any Mystery materials from the classroom, except for your Piedra del Sol.

·        Accessing the Misterio resources outside of class time or hacking into the material directly on the school network.  Follow the links given to you by the instructor.

Any learner who cheats on the Final Exam will be subject to discipline and loss of credit.  Do not put yourself in this position.  You will put yourself at risk of failing the exam.  There will be no “warnings” or second chances.   Remember that anything you do on the school computers is tracked and documented.  Honesty and a strong work ethic are important character traits that are an integral part of being successful as a learner.  Do work that you can be proud of. 

Successfully completing the Misterio is a proud tradition at Madras High School.  Be part of that exciting legacy!

Please refer to the attachments on this page for that Contract that you and your parents will be expected to sign prior to the beginning of the Mystery.   ¡Buena suerte!

El Zócalo en D.F.

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Centro Histórico de la Gran Ciudad de México - Mapa Artístico y Crónica Gráfica con sus más celebres personajes - por Jorge Escudero de Sybari 1994
Photos of Mexico City
Practice the Misterio Puzzles
Practice Puzzle

Tenochtitlan y los Aztecas

Learners proficient at NOVICE HIGH can use the target language and cultural knowledge to understand, exchange, and present information about familiar topics in everyday contexts using a variety of rehearsed or memorized words and phrases with attempts at creating simple, original sentences and questions.

 Interpretive Mode    

 Interpersonal Mode     Presentational Mode

 Learners can identify the topic and understand some isolated facts and information from spoken, written, or signed texts about a limited range of familiar topics in everyday contexts. Learners can interact with others to request and exchange information, meet basic needs, and express preferences or feelings by using a variety of rehearsed and some original, simple sentences and questions about very familiar topics in everyday contexts.

 Learners can speak, sign, or write to provide information about familiar topics in everyday contexts using a variety of rehearsed and some original, simple sentences and questions.

WICOR Strategies


Textbook activities, workbook pages, taking notes, writing acronyms using adjectives


Discussion of essential question, cognates, question games


Quizzing, picture file, reading with partners


Discussion of word order and sentence structure, practicing with conjugation cards


Read culture sections, book activities, children’s books, tongue twisters 

NSHS-B6 Crossreference Misterio en Madrid, Misterio de los Aztecas

Misterios copyright©1998-2019 Señora McPeak

Recursos - Mgmt1 - 2

Subpages (1): Misterio en Madrid