Maya Lesson Plans (KS2 new curriculum)

On this page, you will find a number of resources written by both teachers and myself together.

Content of this page:

  1. Scheme of Work
  2. Other Units of Work
  3. Shared teacher material


Maya Archaeologist Scheme of Work



The Maya – KS2 Scheme of Work is a detailed unit of work for schools created with teachers who accompanied me on the extended CPD session to the Maya area in 2016 and 2017.  In particular, Mark Woolley (Our Lady of Mount Carmel RC Primary School, Ashton-Under-Lyne), Richard Petts (Grindleford Primary School, Derbyshire), Jennifer Farmer (Aldington Primary School, Kent), Selina King (Holywell School, Bedfordshire) and Lisa White (Townend Junior School, Derbyshire).

This is a work in progress and is added to regularly.  Images and videos are also included.

We all spent a lot of time in creating this scheme of work, but we are making it freely available to all, in order to support the teaching of this topic.  Please make use of it and spread the word to other teachers.  Any feedback or contributions would be much appreciated!

Please note: You will need to use your personal, rather than your school’s email address to download these files, as most schools disable the ability to receive items from outside their domain. 

Download – Unit Overview

  1. Pok-ta-pok
  2. Archaeology *New Sept 2017
  3. Timelines and Maps
  4. The Rainforest (Updated Sept 2017)
  5. Maya Cities and Architecture *New Sept 2017
  6. Maya Writing – Glyphs
  7. Maya Number System (Updated Nov 2017)
  8. Maya Calendar (Updated Oct 2017)
  9. Food and Drink
  10. Music
  11. Arts and Crafts *New Sept 2017
  12. Mayan Language
  13. Gods and Religious Beliefs (Updated March 2018)
  14. Abandonment of Maya Cities – the “Collapse” *New Sept 2017

Other Units of Work

Here are various Units of work that I have written or been involved with.

Historical Association Scheme of Work (2014)

Last updated in January 2015



In this unit pupils will learn about the remarkable achievements of the ancient Maya. Through these activities pupils will learn about the Maya perspective of time, the calendar system, writing, maths and the environment.  In doing so they should see the stark contrast between their own history and that of the Maya.

Aside from learning about Maya culture, the unit will encourage pupils to move away from the tendency in applying one’s own cultural values in judging the behaviour and beliefs of people raised in other cultures. Instead, pupils will be aware of the different (though not inferior) ways of doing things and the complexity of human life.


Signs of Change: A Glimpse of Past & Present Cultural Landscapes of Guatemala (2013)



This resource was written by teachers during their trip to Guatemala which I had organised with the Stone Center for Latin American Studies (New Orleans) in 2012.

It includes art activities for Key Stage 2 (see Grades 3 and 5).

This curriculum unit was designed to examine the culture, language, and geography of the Maya during an important moment in the Maya calendar; December 21, 2012.

This moment also marked an important point for the Latin American Resource Center to re-examine the current teaching of the Maya and provide an updated set of lessons and perspectives for teaching about the Maya.

This unit follows an interdisciplinary model of incorporating area studies across disciplines in order to construct a deeper understanding of the Maya and creates a more comprehensive approach to teaching global competence.


Shared Teacher Materials


I have created this area for teachers to share any successful class activities on the Maya. My hope is that in time this will become a comprehensive resource centre for teaching the topic.