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Maya Teacher Resources
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To break down complex themes, discuss a sense of self, and learn a bit about Mayan culture, learners start through art analysis. They analyze a Mayan incense burner, discuss themes, and then write a short story that includes themes from discussion. Great pictures and a full two-day procedure make for a very nice lesson.
"I all alone beweep my outcast state." After a discussion of the "Shakespeare in American Life" segment in which Maya Angelou's relates her reaction to Sonnet 29, class groups create and perform a scene about an outcast that includes the first four lines from the sonnet.
Learners explore the Mayan Vase. This lesson has kindergarteners describe the vase, explain what it is used for and create their own drinking cup. They begin to understand how people lived hundreds of years ago as well as how experiences influence how we live and the things we do.
Giving gifts has been a part of the human experience since modern man walked the earth. Upper graders explore the culture of gift giving in Mayan times through an artistic analysis. They analyze gift giving and palace life as seen on an ancient vase. They then write a personal narrative that describes a time when they either gave or received a special gift.
Discuss Pre-Colombian South American art with your class, then get out the clay and create some. Pupils practice using the wipe-away technique to create a ceramic tile similar to those made by the Maya. Great web links and a comprehensive materials list make this a great lesson for any art class.
Maya Angelou’s poem, "Still I Rise," offers an opportunity for comprehension and close reading practice. The left column of this instructional activity contains the text of the poem and the right column presents questions about the six stanzas of the poem. Pupils will need to be familar with similes, metaphors, symbols, and dialect. No answer key is provided.
Students explore the Mayan culture’s achievements in mathematics. For this secondary mathematics lesson, students investigate the Mayan calendar and convert from Mayan numbers to decimal numbers and vice versa. Students add, subtract, multiply and divide in Mayan arithmetic.