Maya Teacher Resources
Find Maya educational ideas and activities
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Eighth graders read biographical information on Maya Angelou and her poem, "Still I Rise." students identify support and elaboration in poem, then respond by either writing a letter to the author or his/her own poem in response.
Who wouldn't want to live in a tree? I would, and so would a variety of other living organisms. First, the class reads the book Maya and the Town That Loved A Tree, by Kiki and Kathryn Shaw, then they discuss how trees can provide basic needs for different plants, insects, and animals. They conduct an observational investigation in the school yard, and discuss what kinds of organisms they saw living near or on the trees. Pupils complete a worksheet to help them process the information they learned during the discussion.
Students explore the Mayan culture, and our knowledge of it through art, architecture, and the heritage of modern Mayan people. For this art and culture lesson, students develop an understanding of Mayan daily life through a study of their art.
Students compare basketball to Mayan ring-ball. They write a newspaper article that may have been published during Mayan times.
Sixth graders complete a Venn Diagram where they compare the Mayans and the Aztecs of Mexico. In this Mayans and Aztecs lesson plan, 6th graders also compare the Inca.
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!
First graders explore the work of conservationists and how they make sure animals and people are safe in their habitats. They identify the rules, laws, jobs, and people who help them feel safe and keep them healthy. Students explore who protects the rainforests through the use of literature.
In this online interactive literature instructional activity, 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 plan, 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 worksheet, 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.
High schoolers 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 plan, 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.
The emotional and spiritual oppression of slavery in the African-American experience is the focus of this lesson. Middle schoolers analyze various texts by Frederick Douglass and Maya Angelou related to freedom and oppression. They use textual evidence to write about slavery, oppression, compassion, and nonviolence. Additionally, they perform African-American spirituals and write reflectively for the lesson.
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... For this lesson, students watch videos and research how the Maya culture helped develop mathematic understanding.
Young scholars 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.
Students 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. In 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.