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History > Mexico (History) (38 resources)
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The Mayan Empire

Grade Levels: 3 - 6

Objectives

  • Students will use vocabulary related to the Mayan empire.
  • Students will learn about the arts, inventions, daily life, and religious beliefs of the Maya.
  • Students will appreciate why the Maya are considered among the most advanced of all ancient civilizations.

Materials

Procedures

  1. Introduce key vocabulary: cenote, codex, excavate, hieroglyphs, jade, motif, stele.

  2. Have students work individually or with partners to answer the following questions as they explore Mayan Kids.

    1. People, Places, and Beliefs
      Go to the Maya Kids website (http://www.mayankids.com/mkintro.htm) and click on the "people," "places," and "beliefs" links at the top of the screen to read about the daily life of the ancient Maya. On a separate piece of paper, create a three-column chart and make notes about each of these topics.

    2. Advanced Civilization
      The following quotation is found on the site: "The Maya were the most advanced of all ancient Mesoamerican cultures." Explain what this statement means. Support your explanation with facts from the website.

  3. Set aside time for students to share and discuss the information they gathered.

Assessment

Use a rubric to assess students' understanding of the ancient Mayan Empire.

Extension Activities

  • Choose from a large collection of cross-curricular activities for all grade levels.
  • Have groups of students compose fables including one or more of the Mayan god characters. Encourage them to illustrate their fables, then display them in your class for others to enjoy.

Standards Correlations

National Social Studies Standards

Students develop an understanding of:

  • how reading about and reconstructing the past allows them to develop historical perspective.
  • how human beings create, learn, apply, modify, and adapt to their cultures.
  • how each cultural system is unique.
  • spatial terms and posses knowledge of places and regions, physical systems, and interactions of environment and society.

National Educational Technology Standards

Students:

  • practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.
  • use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.

Highlights

Videos
Do your students love videos? We have a growing collection of videos (including related activities) for holidays and events, including: women's history, Memorial Day, Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, American History, and the environment. Enjoy!

May Calendar of Events
May is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/18-25), Buy a Musical Instrument Day (5/22), and Memorial Day (5/25). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Inventors Month, Physical Fitness & Sports Month, and Water Safety Month!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

Now available: Galactic Hot Dogs in print! Buy it at bookstores now.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

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