Mayan Writing Teacher Resources
Find Mayan Writing educational ideas and activities
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New Review Mayan Mathematics and Architecture
Take young scholars on a trip through history with this unit on the mathematics and architecture of the Mayan civilization. Starting with a introduction to their base twenty number system and the symbols they used, this eight-lesson unit goes on to compare the mathematics of other ancient cultures, before investigating the unique architecture of these native Central Americans.
4th - 8th Math CCSS: Adaptable
Decoding the First Alphabets: Not as Simple as A, B, C
Explore early writing systems and their significance in understanding the development of past civilizations. In groups, learners research early writing systems and then present their findings to the rest of the class. They teach their classmates how to write their names in the early style of writing.
6th - 12th Social Studies & History CCSS: Adaptable
Happy 14th B’ak’tun, the start of the next Great Mayan cycle
The ancient Mayans had a complex calendar and number system with a rich history. In fact, the date 12/21/2012 was the center of much controversy as to whether or not it was the end of time. It wasn't the end of time, but it was the end of a Mayan calendar cycle as well as the inspiration for this worksheet.
5th - 9th Math CCSS: Designed
Be That As It Maya
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.
5th - 12th Social Studies & History
Lesson: The Gift of Giving
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.
7th - 12th Visual & Performing Arts
Mayan Farming Practices
The introduction of this lesson requires reading a from The Maya by Jaqueline Dembar Greene. Learners sketch a Mayan during the reading. Teaching strategies include direct instruction, grouping the students for discussions, reasearch, and a culminating activity requiring groups to create a terrarium in which to plant seeds representing Mayan foods.
4th - 9th Science
What Were the Main Achievements of the Mayan Civilization?
Guided reading questions can keep kids focused. Here they read about Mayan Civilization and then answer 9 fill-in-the-blank questions. They must use evidence from their readings to support their answers. The instructional activity includes 3 images/primary sources to interpret.
7th - 10th Social Studies & History
Lesson: Collect Oral Histories About the Genocide in Guatemala
Begin this powerful study on the Guatemalan genocide with a nine-minute video clip, which can be easily found online. The excerpt introduces the class to this tragedy through a personal account, which is what they will be collecting. Discussion questions following the clip drive scholars to deeper thinking about oral histories and justice, and they view a website dedicated to keeping memories of victims alive (linked).
7th - Higher Ed English Language Arts CCSS: Designed
Let's Travel to a Mayan Pyramid
Fourth graders access and navigate the Canadian Museum of Civilization's website and research the Mayan civilization. They explore the website, complete a graphic organizer, and write a paragraph based on interesting facts they found on the website.
4th Social Studies & History
Fifth graders investigate the Maya's as mathematicians. In this Mayan math lessons, 5th graders work with the ancient Mayan numbering system by comparing it to the American Number System. They tell the differences and similarities between the two systems after watching a PowerPoint presentation.
Lesson: Struggle and Transformation: Jaguar & Adolescence
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.
5th - 12th Visual & Performing Arts
Lesson: Bringing Back the Sun: The Story of Jaguar Inspiring Student Stories
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.
K - 5th Visual & Performing Arts
From Graphic Organizer to Composition - Grade Six
How does one use a graphic organizer to plan writing? Introduce your writers to different types of graphic organizers by dividing the class into groups and assigning each group a particular organizer. Then, as they research chocolate (yum!), they record some of the pros and cons to their specific organizer.
6th English Language Arts
Middle schoolers work on summarizing a story, and they determine if it is a legend, a myth, or a fable. Working in groups to read and summarize stories, they then list evidence whether the tale is a myth, fable, or legend. They present their findings to the class and discuss the difference between the myths and the Bible.
5th - 8th English Language Arts
Come On Over To Maya Place
Fifth graders analyze the Mayan culture. In this Mayan culture lesson, 5th graders study the Mayan culture noting similarities and differences between the Mayan culture and their own. Students examine hieroglyphic writing and the Mayan influence on astronomy.
5th Social Studies & History
Ancient Maya: Knowledge Through Art
Students explore the Mayan culture, and our knowledge of it through art, architecture, and the heritage of modern Mayan people. In this art and culture lesson, students develop an understanding of Mayan daily life through a study of their art.
10th - 12th Visual & Performing Arts