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The Mayan Civilization

Lesson Plan Attachments

On-line Resources

  • Canadian Museum of Civilization
    A general site with good coverage of the topic including information on the Maya today. One of the few sites to feature photos of Mayan people. Note: Use browser's back button repeatedly to leave slide show. Photos are smaller and lower resolution than other sites, but fine for class work.
  • Science Museum of Minnesota
    "Photo Archive" contains many good photos for art and architecture topic.  Select "Start Your Adventure" to explore entire site.
  • Rabbit in the Moon
    This private site by Nancy McNelly and endorsed by Discovery Channel, offers descriptions of Mayan calendar, language, and hieroglyphic writing (includes audio pronunciation of Mayan syllables -- "The Talking Syllabary.")
  • The Annenberg Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
    "Collapse - Why do civilizations fail?" provides reasons why ancient civilizations have collapsed. Presents archeological artifacts as clues to what may have happened (click on each artifacts for "game-like" discovery.)
  • Mexico Connect: The Maya Civilization
    This personal site by Luis Dumois is bilingual (English, Spanish), and includes map, timeline, history, calendar, and number system. "The Cities of the Maya - with Photos" page is particularly recommended.
  • American Indian Heritage Foundation
    Text-based site with concise coverage of geography, culture, politics, and art. Essay at end ("Mysteries of the Mayans") is not recommended for middle school due to length and advanced vocabulary.
  • Jaguar Sun
    This site by Jeeni Criscenzo, author of a novel about the ancient Maya, Place of Mirrors, is comprehensive and well-organized with pictures and narrative. Covers both ancient and modern Mayans, as well as opinion concerning their decline. Note: Click on "Table of Contents" icon to start. Some commercial messages.
  • Photovault
    Lots of terrific pictures (for storyboards) of Mayan landscape, structures, and art.
    Note: Site can be slow to load. Click on thumbnail to view larger images. Downloaded pictures will have "Photovault" in caption and also as subtle background.
    This resource is a collection of links to different sites. The links are well described and usually appropriate, however some are tourist oriented (e.g., travel agency sites.)
  • New Worlds Arts Magazine - THE MAYAN CIVILIZATION
    Text and graphics by artist Harry Hilson describe Mayan ruins and art, accompanied by some interesting, lesser known facts. Note: Pictures cannot be downloaded due to copyright protection.
  • USC Library and Department of Geography
  • Mayan Theater
    Photos of Mayan Theater in downtown LA, and Francisco Cornejo's bas relief facade (mentioned in assignment sheet. Note: Street address is 1040 S. Hill St. Theater built in 1927 as public works project.

The Mayan Civilization Lesson Plan
Students will study the Mayan Civilization by first learning the geography of the region and determining how it influenced the everyday lives and cultural advancements of the people. Students will then research the ancient Mayan culture, technology, religion, and economic and political systems, and identify key contributions. They will also examine today's descendents of the Mayans. Finally, students will share their learning with the class by giving an oral presentation.

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