Activities you can do at home

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These activities were created as a result of my annual teacher trip to the Maya area by Abigail Griffiths (St. Margaret’s Preparatory School, Essex) and Tizzy McManus (Doddiscombsleigh Primary School, Devon). Make your own: Worry Doll Chatterbox Snakes and Ladders Board Game Maya Mask Maya Headdress   Make your own Worry Doll Worry dolls (Muñeca […]

Testimonials – Pupil Workshops

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Responses from Teachers “Many thanks once again for your efforts in making the subject so inspiring for our children in recent years.” Susan Bush, Curriculum Development Leader, Torriano Primary School “Just wanted to say a huge thank you for this week for coming in to speak to the children.  They have really enjoyed making a […]

Testimonials – Teacher Workshops

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Responses from Teachers I attended your workshop at the HA conference in May and just wanted to say thank you so much for inspiring me to choose the Maya for my non-European society unit. It was great to meet someone who is so passionate about their subject and who understands what teachers need to bring […]

Thinking Cards on the Maya

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These 20 A5 Maya Fact Cards feature a photograph on one side and five questions or activity suggestions on the reverse. The variety of questions and activities means that work can be pitched at an appropriate level for most abilities. This product is suited for the Maya Key Stage 2 (KS2) curriculum.  

The Abandonment of Maya Cities and the Classic Maya Collapse

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Objective: To debate and consider a range of theories for why many Maya cities were abandoned around AD 900 Abandonment of Maya cities from dianeelizdavies Lesson Starter: Check students have the correct terminology. What do the following terms mean: End- change- decline- move- hiatus- collapse?  Explain to students that the Maya did not disappear or die […]

Maya Cities and Architecture

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Objective: To understand the design of Maya cities and social order within. Maya Cities and Architecture – Lesson Plan from dianeelizdavies  Lesson Starter – Students to spend a short time to imagine they are a King designing a city from scratch. They should consider who will live in their city, what jobs people would need […]

Maya Arts and Craft

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Objective To explore how the Maya expressed their culture through the arts. Ancient and Modern Maya culture expressed through the Arts from dianeelizdavies Slideshow to accompany lesson plan. Lesson Rather than generating a specific lesson we have suggested a range of activities that could take place at any point in the topic. They could act […]

Lesson Plan: What does an Archaeologist do?

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Objectives:  To understand the role of an archaeologist and what happens at an archaeological dig.   What does an archaeologist do from dianeelizdavies Slideshow to accompany lesson plan. Lesson Starter Activity: IWB- picture reveal: What’s happening in the image? (find one of an archaeological dig). This activity is to help children realise the importance of […]

The Value of Egyptian Written Sources Concerning Egyptian Magic

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Egyptian magic in contrast to our Western conception of magic, was a legitimate activity, being part of the natural order, and formed part of religion and medicine.  Our main source material for Egyptian magic is written, including actual magical texts, funerary texts and medical papyri, to narratives and inscriptions on stelae.  However, the written spell […]

Running for Maya Children!

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I ran the New Forest Half-Marathon (10th September 2017) to raise donations for Melody School. Melody School has been set up by Igor Xoyon to provide equality schooling to underprivileged Maya children in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. It is run purely by donations.  Through sponsorship (around £40 a month) a child is not only able to receive a solid […]

Who owns the Past?

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“Because men really respect only that which was founded of old and has developed slowly, he who wants to live on after his death must take care not only of his posterity but even more of his past: which is why tyrants of every kind (including tyrannical artists and politicians) like to do violence to […]

Make your own Maya Calendar (KS2)!

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  Understanding how the Maya calendar works can be difficult for both young and old alike. Therefore, I have created a wonderful teaching aid that you can print out and make for free! In this tutorial, you will learn to make the Maya calendar wheels and how to use them (you can use it as […]

Cultural Activism in Mesoamerica: An Assessment of Recent Movements

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Introduction Since 1521 the Indians in Mesoamerica have been oppressed by Europeans and later by their ladino/mestizo governments.  Cultural resistance in Mesoamerica has varied in extent and force over time and between countries.  There were sporadic but unsuccessful revolts during the colonial period in Mesoamerica.  Resistance continued into the 19th century, the Caste War among […]

Late Preclassic Abandonment in the Maya Area: Scale and Causality

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Abstract During the Late Preclassic Period, particularly from A.D. 200-250, widespread abandonment and/or hiatus in construction occurs across sites in the Maya area. Regions most affected were Chiapas, El Petén and the Yucatán peninsula.  A preliminary discussion of the causal factors behind site abandonment is given.  In reviewing existing data, it appears that a combination […]

Tomorrow’s Achievers – Masterclass

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Learn about the Ancient Maya and Archaeology! Date: Upcoming dates will be added shortly The ancient Maya, who lived in Central America, brought us an intricate calendar system, complex hieroglyphic writing, some of the largest pyramids in the world, a form of ballgame that is like no other and most importantly chocolate! Learn about their […]

Ancient Maya Scheme of Work

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As a result of the teacher trip tin 2016 to the Maya area, a detailed scheme of work has been written on the Maya, which includes lesson plans, teacher notes, slides, images and videos for teachers to download and use in their class.

The Maya Calendar Explained (KS2)

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The Maya calendar (and time keeping in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica) is a fascinating but poorly understood topic that has gathered much interest in recent years (particularly around 2012!). In this article, we will explain how the Maya calendar was made, how it works and how to read it. Time was extremely important to the Maya, they […]

Maya Gods and Religious Beliefs (KS2)

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Maya gods, goddesses and deities, along with the religious beliefs attached to them, changed over the course of several millennia. This creates much confusion that we’ll try to dissipate in this article. This resource can be use for the History Key Stage 2 (KS2) curriculum.   NB: specialists of the Maya civilisation say “Maya gods”, […]

Mayan Languages

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The Kaqchikel, or Kaqchiquel, language (in modern orthography; formerly also spelled Cakchiquel or Cakchiquiel) is an indigenous Mesoamerican language and a member of the Quichean–Mamean branch of the Mayan languages family. It is spoken by the indigenous Kaqchikel people in central Guatemala. It is closely related to the K’iche’ (Quiché) and Tz’utujil languages.

Maya Music

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There are many depictions on painted vases and murals of the ancient Maya playing musical instruments. We also have been lucky enough to find remains of these instruments too.

The Maya Writing System

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The Maya hieroglyphic script was the only fully-fledged writing system in the Americas. There are over a thousand Maya glyphs known from carved stones, painted murals and ceramics. Most of them are logograms; the rest are phonetic signs. This article will show you how to read Maya glyphs. This resource can be use for the […]

Maya Numerals & Mathematics

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Ancient Maya arithmetic and numeration system, with its Dot-and-Bar notation and concept of zero, is a fascinating topic. In this article, we will explain how to read the Maya numerals and how to do mathematical operations in the Maya vigesimal system. This resource can be use for the History Key Stage 2 (KS2) curriculum.

Maya Timeline

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  Background Information Mesoamerica is a classification that is not defined by geography or languages, rather by the presence of cultural traits. These traits included forms of game with a rubber ball in a rectangular court, codices; books made of sheets of bark paper or deerskin and a common diet of maize, beans and squash. […]

Meet the Maya at Stratford-Upon-Avon

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  I will be giving class presentations and tours of the new Maya exhibition at Stratford-Upon-Avon Butterfly Farm, of which I was involved. Presentation and tour last 90 mins and includes: The magnificent achievements of the ancient Maya Maya mythbusters What it is like for an archaeologist working in the Maya rainforest Handling of a variety […]

Comment on a 15-year-old discovering an ancient city

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Comment on a 15-year-old discovering an ancient city As much as I commend the student for his interest and enthusiasm in learning about the ancient Maya and their remarkable achievements, I am afraid that the satellite image appears to be a milpa (corn field) that has been left fallow. There are at least 400 Maya sites […]