Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Maya Civilization, and supports the standard of evaluating the cultural contributions of a society. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display images related to Maya Civilization, like those shown in this article.  Ask students:

  • What do you see?
  • What does it make you think about? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Sports,” “Dates and Times,” or “In Practice.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a video diary from the perspective of a person living in Maya society that describes a day in your life. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying key features and contributions of Maya society and culture. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts that represent key elements of Maya civilization. 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about Maya Civilization. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • Where do we see the influence of Mayan cultural contributions today? 
  • How can a culture impart lasting impact? 
  • Why might a civilization die out? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Maya Civilization Quiz

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

Dive deeper into Mayan Civilization by playing Time Zone X: Maya. 

Continue exploring the contributions of ancient Western civilizations with BrainPOP’s Inca Civilization and Aztec Civilization topics.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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