Maya Teacher Resources
Find Maya educational ideas and activities
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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.
In this online interactive literature worksheet, students respond to 10 short answer and essay questions about Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Students may check some of their answers online.
Students research the life of a powerful woman of the Maya Empire. They analyze the role of women in Maya society and compare them to powerful women of today in an essay.
What on earth is that jar for? It was an ancient incense burner used by the Maya, that was inspired by the myth of the sun god. Young analysts hear the story of the Mayan sun god, analyze the story through the artistry in the jar, and then write a continuation of the ancient tale. Background information, images, and analysis notes are included.
Students view the works of Maya Stela and explore the animals used in the sculpture. In this lesson, students act as animals and explorers searching for animals. Students recall details of the sculpture. Students role play being jungle explorers and search for the jaguar and quetzal bird as well as other animals. Students create jaguar headdresses.
In this online interactive reading comprehension activity, students respond to 25 multiple choice questions about Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Students may submit their answers to be scored.
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.
Students review basic facts about two ancient American civilizations: the Inca and the Maya. Then they compare two ancient cities from these civilizations: Machu Picchu, of the Inca Empire, and Chichén Itzá, of the Maya.
Students discuss equality and fairness by reading a Maya Angelo poem. In this U.S. history lesson, students read the poem I Know Why Caged Birds Sing, and discuss how the era it was written in affected the words. Students identify the framework of poetry and categorize each line.
Students examine what daily life is like for children living in other countries around the world. They read different books in the "Maya's World" series of books by Maya Angelou, write and illustrate an original story about a child in another country, and create a clay figure of their main character.
Students explore language arts by participating in poetry writing activities. In this conflict management lesson, students discuss the emotions that they feel when being teased and discussed. Students read a Maya Angelou poem titled "Still I Rise" and answer study questions about the content.
It's true: women are phenomenal. Use current works from Maya Angelou and Des'ree to spend some time celebrating women. This would be a great resource to use while studying the evolution of women's rights. As an extension activity, consider adding a written component. Perhaps your students could write about an aspect of themselves they feel is phenomenal.
Students study the Maya culture and their achievements in mathematics, how bacteria grow exponentially, use rational numbers to convert back and forth between Celsius and degrees Fahrenheit, how some architectural designs are examples of logarithmic spirals, how complex numbers help express electrical concepts, etc... In this lesson, students watch videos and research how the Maya culture helped develop mathematic understanding.
Students study the meaning of the term 'Jim Crow'. They examine how this term originated, when it was used, and how it served its purpose? They read two short biographies of Maya Angelou and James Comer discover that both authors had strong family support systems which was beneficial for survival.
High schoolers examine the experiences of African American women. In this poetry lesson, students use their literary analysis skills to compare the poetry of Maya Angelou to rap music performed by Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill.
Students research the earliest Americans. For this ancient civilizations lesson, students investigate the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas. Students examine artifacts used in the cultures and then determine what the artifacts were used for and make replicas of them.
Students read The Seven Resiliencies, a Maya Angelou poem, and complete writing activities to analyze the concept of resiliency. In this poetry lesson, students group in a circle to read the resiliency handout and discuss the text. Students brainstorm examples of people who were resilient in history and read "Still I Rise" by Angelou. Students discuss the two texts together and write a response as a formal paper or journal entry.
Fifth graders explore language arts by reading poetry. In this vocabulary usage lesson, 5th graders read a quote from the famous poet Maya Angelou and reflect on the words with their classmates. Students complete a quiz after preparing a vocabulary presentation for their class.
High schoolers explore an ancient Mayan city. In this world history lesson, students watch a video about the ancient Mayan civilization, discussing information prior to and after watching the video. High schoolers then come to understand more about the Mayan culture by conducting both text and Internet-based research.
Students work together in groups to research either the Maya, Aztec or Incas. They discover their art and examine their daily life. They develop a quiz to give to their classmates over the information they shared.