Maya Teacher Resources

Find Maya educational ideas and activities

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Students explore the culture of the Mayans through a variety of activities. In this lesson about Maya, students analyze pictures in books and on websites, produce scale models of Maya architecture, and create Maya mosaics. Students study Maya myths, analyze and create glyphs or pictures, role-play as warriors, write to a Maya pen-pal, and finally enjoy a Maya feast. Students develop a true understanding of the Maya people by the close of this lesson.
Students research the culture of the Mayans. In this early civilizations lesson, students research selected Maya city-states including Tikal, Clakmul, Piedras Niegras, and Uaxactun. Students use their research findings to present news reports to their classmates.
Mayan cities may have mysteriously disappeared, but the culture still thrives today. Maya lesson plans bring the culture alive.
Students explore and study about Maya Yang Lin and her influences on contemporary Chinese/American art. They assess the difference between architecture and sculptor and then create a miniature model of an expressive sculptor to symbolize their vision of a world event.

New! The Maya Files

6th - 8th
What a creative approach to studying about the ancient Mayan civilization! Learners will become investigators in the case of the "disappearance" of the Classic Maya by examining a variety of primary and secondary source material, including an interview with a Mayan archaeologist, graphs of weather and soil samples, and first-hand accounts from the period.
Young scholars work in teams to research ancient Mayan civilization as they simulate working for the President of the United States. He is concerned that if a civilization as technologically advanced as the Maya's could disappear, could the U.S. do the same?

Relating Maya

3rd - 6th
Students read about the bags that the Maya people made and about how reusing bags can help save our environment. In this environment lesson plan, students read and discuss conservation and observe pictures.
First graders study the animals in the Maya Forest Reserve. For this conservation lesson, 1st graders create a graph to compare the environment of animals to their own. They design a 3D model of these two environments.
Eighth graders respond personally to poetry. In this poem analysis instructional activity, 8th graders analyze the biographical poem of Maya Angelou titled "Still I Rise." Students elaborate on the language and theme of the poem as they respond to discussion questions about it. Students then write antonym poems in response to Angelou's poem.
Learners investigate the Maya civilization. For this Maya civilization lesson, students view a PowerPoint presentation and record notes. Learners explore several important landmarks, such as the "Magician's Palace" at Uxmal.
Students study the concepts of autobiography, biography, and fiction as literary genres. They read, study, and analyze Maya Angelou's autobiographical writings in terms of what she intended to accomplish by her writings. They develop and enhance their literary competence by lessons which focus on figurative and symbolic language and on voice or points of view.
Students explore counting methods of the ancient Maya, and practice identifying Maya number glyphs.
Pupils analyze the meaning of Maya glyphs. In this Mayan communication lesson, students use Mayan symbols to calculate their birthdates according to Maya Long Count.

Maya Angelou

4th - 8th
In this famous person worksheet, students read a passage about Maya Angelou and then complete a variety of in-class and homework activities to support comprehension, including partner interviews, spelling, cloze, synonym matches, and scrambled sentences.
Young scholars explore filled and empty space in art. In this visual arts lesson plan, students view the Maya "Stela" and various picture books to explore the story within the art pieces. Young scholars create their own stela that tells a story about a person they admire.
Students investigate the life and works of Maya Angelou. They complete a Webquest, read poems, listen to a reading by Maya Angelou, answer discussion questions, and write a poem, short story, or essay based on a newspaper article.

Maya Lin

3rd - 4th
Students are able to explain the important contribution Maya Lin made to society, write about their definition of a hero, and recognize, appreciate and describe the significance of memorials.
Students examine the roles and contributions of African American women in the Arts as they research the biographies and artistic endeavors of Maya Angelou, Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill. They explore these arts through dance, paint and writing.

Maya Ball

5th - 8th
Sure the ancient Mayan civilization had an advanced calendar and mathematical system, but did you know that they also played a great team sport like basketball? Invite your learners to discover the great ballcourt at Chichen Itza and ballgame of the Mayans with this engaging set of worksheets.
The Maya created amazing stone carvings and sculptures, but what were they for? Kids analyze the significance and purpose of a Maya stela and then write a creative piece. They imagine they are the stela, and write a story about what life as a limestone, and then as a carved stela was like. A great writing prompt that includes art history and research!

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