General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 24 Jan 2021/9 Vulture
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Mexicolore team presenting a videoconferencing session on the Aztecs

Videoconferencing with schools and home learners

We offer live interactive videoconferencing (VC) sessions with schools and home learners from our London base. Subjects covered include the Aztecs, Maya, Day of the Dead, ‘A is for Armadillo’ and more... We have content for all ages, from KS1 to adult.
2020-21: Currently on offer is a) a fun combined introduction to the Maya and the Aztecs, b) ‘A is for Armadillo’: a native American animal with an amazing story, and c) a glance at the famous and mysterious Aztec Sunstone (pic below) with its intriguing story of 5 world creations...

Team member Joanna presents a beautiful Maya ‘huipil’ from Guatemala
Team member Joanna presents a beautiful Maya ‘huipil’ from Guatemala (Click on image to enlarge)

TODAY we offer one-hour (min.) VCs, structured around a 50 minute (min.) introductory presentation - with slides and artefacts and mini-demonstrations - followed by an open-ended Q&A session. No prior knowledge is required. The programme introduces both Aztecs and Maya, presented by three team members (Graciela, Ian and Joanna). Main subjects: introduction to Mexico, Mexican Spanish (and reference to the Spanish invasion), English loan words from the Aztecs and the Maya, numbers/dates/calendars/codices and writing systems, foods original to Mexico and chocolate (with live mini-demonstrations), sources of evidence for aspects of every-day life, weapons, wind and percussion musical instruments (with live mini-demonstrations), traditional clothing, nature gods, calendars, etc…
We use Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet as platforms. To book, just send us an email to get started. Current cost: £110 per VC.

Ian with some of our armadillo-related artefacts...
Ian with some of our armadillo-related artefacts... (Click on image to enlarge)

New! ‘A is for Armadillo’ is a whimsical look at a unique creature native to the Americas, its role in ancient Mesoamerican mythology, its appearances in folklore today, its practical uses, and much more. Our own (stuffed) armadillo has an amazing story to tell. MANY fun facts...!
In years gone by we offered a version of our ‘Snakes & Lizards’ VC challenge as a team visit option. Schools taking part in the S & L time challenge need(ed) to download the two resource sheets below (participants work in teams).

Sarah Buchan (Deputy Head, holding Bridget) and friends at Bridge & Patrixbourne Primary School
Sarah Buchan (Deputy Head, holding Bridget) and friends at Bridge & Patrixbourne Primary School (Click on image to enlarge)

Always having been an artefact-based teaching team, we couldn’t resist the generous offer from Bridge & Patrixbourne CE Primary near Canterbury to let us have on extended loan their 5-foot-long African crocodile, that has hung for years in their loo! ‘Bridget’ was donated to the school decades ago by the brother of a former staff member. ‘Snakes and Lizards’ won’t be quite the same again...

Ian demonstrating Aztec musical instruments to the camera
Ian demonstrating Aztec musical instruments to the camera (Click on image to enlarge)

We recently enjoyed running a ‘Snakes and Lizards’ team challenge on the Aztec Sunstone with a Year 6 class from the Churchill School, nr. Folkstone, Kent. They commented ‘We felt the session was a great success and has given us a real enthusiasm to find ways of using video conferencing with other classes and in other subjects. The Year 6 children were full of talk after the session and Emma said she had been impressed with how much they had gained from the lesson...’

Feedback from an Aztecs VC
Feedback from an Aztecs VC (Click on image to enlarge)

More comments from teachers: ‘What an interesting videoconference you gave the children. They certainly learnt a lot about Mexico... We loved the musical instruments and it was wonderful to be able to hear them so clearly’. Read more feedback, reproduced from the UK Distance Learning Association magazine, left...

We can take you to the heart of the Mexica (Aztec) Sunstone!
We can take you to the heart of the Mexica (Aztec) Sunstone! (Click on image to enlarge)

And more! This from Angie Preston, class teacher at Roundhill Junior School, Knottingley, W. Yorks (2009): I just wanted to say Thank You on behalf of myself and the children, for a fantastic video conference. It was brilliant! We all thoroughly enjoyed looking at the artefacts and learning about the Aztec calendar. Although we are not actually studying the Aztecs, it has certainly whet our appetite to want to go and find out more. The children were engaged throughout and liked the interactive aspect of using the sheets and taking part in the team challenge. Thanks again for a great VC...

Ian helps set the scene...
Ian helps set the scene... (Click on image to enlarge)

In the ‘Snakes & Liazrds’ VC, participants are challenged to a) find key elements on our model - from the ring of day signs to the Stone’s creation date, from the two giant fire-serpents to the name of the Fifth Sun (era) that we live in today - and b) to work out how the four previous Suns were destroyed, by using clues in the free downloadable resource sheets (PDF links below - ideally should be printed) and guiding us to the right section of the Sunstone...
The session is ‘illustrated’ with demonstrations of artefacts on display beneath the Sunstone model - from copies of ancient Mesoamerican wind and percussion instruments to a replica of the Mixtec Codex Cospi.

Children help Graciela place key objects on her Day of the Dead ‘ofrenda’
Children help Graciela place key objects on her Day of the Dead ‘ofrenda’ (Click on image to enlarge)

Other videoconferencing options: Decorating an Ofrenda (family altar) for the Day of the Dead festival, Basic Spanish Conversation, Mexico Today, Mexican Musical Instruments... Contact Mexicolore for further details

Graciela and Ian helping you get to the heart of the Aztec Calendar or Sunstone...
Graciela and Ian helping you get to the heart of the Aztec Calendar or Sunstone... (Click on image to enlarge)
Acrobat logo Resource 1: 20 daysigns worksheet (2.1Mbyte)

Acrobat logo Resource 2: Sunstone graphic (876kbyte)

More on Snakes & Lizards...

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Here's what others have said:

Mexicolore replies: After working with you for six years running, we much enjoyed our extended session with you all today and were predictably impressed with the children’s interest and involvement. Here’s to next year, we very much hope ‘in-person’...
Mexicolore replies: Many thanks, Nicola. The children were great - despite the technical complications! - and asked some excellent questions at the end. We enjoyed working with you all at St. Ethelbert’s.
Mexicolore replies: Thanks to you all at Highgate Junior. We were highly impressed by your Year 5s’ behaviour, interest, and the questions they asked! (For more detailed feedback on this session, please see our ‘Feedback’ section, L/H menu...)
Mexicolore replies: Thanks, Helen. As always, we enjoyed working with The Raleigh School and only hope that next time it can be in person again...!
Mexicolore replies: Many thanks, Lee. We enjoyed working with you all at The Study School, and were impressed by the children’s knowledge - and their interesting questions at the end!
Mexicolore replies: Thanks, Ciaran. We’ve enjoyed very much working with you first at Longfield Primary in Harrow and now virtually at St. Julian’s in Portugal!
Mexicolore replies: Many thanks, Martin. We enjoyed working with you all at Crosshall Junior, and were impressed by the children and the lengthy Q&A - they were full of excellent questions!
Mexicolore replies: We enjoyed very much working with you all at The Hermitage. Here we are for another time...
Mexicolore replies: Thank YOU for inviting us year after year to Latymer Prep! We enjoyed very much working with you again this year even if in a remote videoconference format...
Mexicolore replies: We were much impressed by your students, who responded keenly and respectfully. Thanks for arranging a videoconference with us! We enjoyed working with you all.
Mexicolore replies: Thank you! We very much enjoyed working with your group of students, and hope it whetted their appetite to learn more about Mexico’s rich and ancient history. The children were a delight to work with in every way...
Mexicolore replies: Thanks for booking a session. Your kids are as bright as buttons, and got to the heart of the Calendar Stone impressively quickly...!