Maya Teacher Resources
Find Maya educational ideas and activities
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“Still I Rise,” is the focus of a two-day exercise that asks learners to trace the development of the theme of emotional opposites (hopelessness/rising above adversity) by highlighting details in Maya Angelou’s poem. They then craft their own antonym poem of negative and positive emotions (left out/chosen, ugly/beautiful) that shows how they feel. Links to the poem and a short biography of Angelou are included.
Students analyze the symbols presented in a Maya artifact. They create collages that depict a theme related to contemporary life in their community, and write brief analyses explaining the symbolism of the images they chose.
Young scholars 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. Young scholars 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.
Creative projects are a great way to engage your class and can be a fun way to assess mastery! Learners create brochures and postcards that might have been created by and for travelers to ancient Mayan cities. They read and discuss the New York Times article "In Maya Ruins, Scholars See Evidence of Urban Sprawl" and explore a website on Mayan sites.
High schoolers research the culture of the Mayans. In this early civilizations lesson, students research selected Maya city-states including Tikal, Clakmul, Piedras Niegras, and Uaxactun. High schoolers 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.
High schoolers 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?
Learners 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. In 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 lesson, 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.
Students investigate the Maya civilization. In this Maya civilization lesson, students view a PowerPoint presentation and record notes. Students 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 analyze the meaning of Maya glyphs. In this Mayan communication lesson plan, students use Mayan symbols to calculate their birthdates according to Maya Long Count.
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.
Students explore counting methods of the ancient Maya, and practice identifying Maya number glyphs.
Students 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. Students 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.
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.