Ancient Mayan Civilization

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Let’s hear it for the Mayans and their many accomplishments! They have given us many gifts – an accurate 365-day calendar, their glorious cities that have stood the test of time, a lasting body of knowledge about the night sky, and maybe best of all – chocolate! Step back in time with us as we explore what it meant to live in the time of the Ancient Mayans.

Video length: 22:17 minutes.

Classroom Ideas 

Ancient Mayan Civilization

Ancient Timeline

Create a timeline that shows what was happening in each of the Ancient Civilizations at certain points in time.  For example, who created calendars and at what point in time? Who was building pyramids and when?

Mapping

Have students print out a map of the Ancient Mayan Civilization and identify where the sites in the video are located.

Ancient Civilization Comparisons

Divide your class into smaller groups, with each group responsible for further researching how each ancient civilization has benefited the world.  They need to bring props to show (photos, food, items that represents tools and discoveries by each group).

Mayan Ball Game

Have students research the all-important ball game that was such an important part of their lives. Try to write out the rules, and try to play the game. 

Diorama

Create a diorama of a Mayan city.

Pyramid Comparison

Have students compare the structure and purpose(s) of the Egyptian vs. Mayan pyramids. Discuss how they are similar and different. Discuss the techniques used to build each style of pyramid.

International Landmark Geometry

Identify geometric shapes found in famous structures such as Chichen Itza. Create structures using various geometric shapes (popsicle stick pyramid, toothpick tower, etc.)

 

Archaeology

Contact your local college or university to see if they have an archaeology program.  If so, see if your class can visit them and learn what has been discovered by structures and buildings left behind different ancient civilizations.

Venn Diagram

After studying about a specific ancient civilization (Ancient Greece, Romans, Mayans, Egypt, etc. ), have a class discussion about what a day in the life of a person would be like.

Classroom Ideas for ALL Videos

Here are dozens and dozens of ideas that you can use in your classroom along with our videos!

Topics Covered In This Video

Who were the Mayans?

Where did they live?

The many Mayan accomplishments

Mesoamerican civilizations

Mayan night sky observatories

Mayan calendar(s)

Stelae & glyphs

Social structure

Mayan kings

Warfare & territory expansion

Common population

Mayan cuisine & lifestyle

Bartering & valuables

Mayan engineering

Palenque

Tikal

Uxmal

Teotihuacan

Chichen Itza

Learning Resources with this Video

Quiz (PDF)

Online Quiz (coming soon)

Related Videos

Ancient Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egypt: Land of the Pyramids

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome