The Maya lesson

The Maya

The Ancient Maya were a civilisation that flourished in Mesoamerica for thousands of years, leaving behind a rich cultural legacy that continues to fascinate people today. This lesson plan, designed for middle school ancient history classes, provides an overview of this ancient civilisation and its people and focuses on their inventions and achievements.

The lesson will begin with a short film that provides an overview of the Maya civilisation and its people, covering topics such as the location of the Maya, their social structure, and their religion. Students will then engage in critical thinking exercises, analysing primary sources such as artefacts and texts to better understand the people and their civilisation.

One of the major achievements of this amazing civilisation was the construction of impressive temples and cities. Students will learn about the architecture of the Maya, the materials used to build the temples, and the religious and political significance of the temples. They will also explore the layout and organisation of their cities and their role in the people’s daily life.

Another major achievement of the Maya civilisation was developing an advanced calendar system. Students will learn about the Maya calendar, how it was used, and how it influenced the people’s daily lives. They will also explore the relationship between the calendar system and the agricultural practices of the Maya.

The Maya also made significant contributions to the field of farming. Students will learn about agricultural techniques, such as terrace farming, and their impact on their society. They will also explore the role of farming in the economy and the relationship between farming and the calendar system.

The lesson will also briefly cover the Toltecs, a civilisation that had an influence on Maya culture. Students will learn about the similarities and differences between the two people, and how the Toltecs influenced Maya culture.

The lesson will conclude with mini-research tasks and the creation of a poster, which will allow students to apply their understanding of the Maya civilisation to broader historical questions such as the impact of the Maya on the modern world, their relationship with other civilisations, and their legacy.

Through this lesson, students will gain a deeper understanding of the Maya civilisation and its people, and the importance of their inventions and achievements. They will also develop critical thinking skills as they analyse primary sources and engage in class discussions. Additionally, the mini-research tasks and poster will help them develop their research and presentation skills. Overall, this lesson provides a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the Maya civilisation for middle school ancient history classes.

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Resource Information

Description:Student activities include a short film, critical thinking, mini-research tasks and the creation of a poster.
Estimated lessons:2-3.
Ages10-13 years.
Format PowerPoint.

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