General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 20 Apr 2021/4 Wind
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Article suitable for Top Juniors and above

Newby and Scalby Primary School

‘Our Maya Museum’

We were pleased to be approached by Year 5 at Newby and Scalby Primary School in Scarborough for help in preparing a ‘Mayan Museum’ as part of their topic work. Thanks both to the children and their teacher, Sophie Smith (Written by Year 5, Newby and Scalby School)

Pic 1: Painting by Frederick Catherwood of a stele and altar depicting Lord 18-Rabbit, 13th ruler of Copán, Honduras
Pic 1: Painting by Frederick Catherwood of a stele and altar depicting Lord 18-Rabbit, 13th ruler of Copán, Honduras (Click on image to enlarge)

We first were inspired, by looking at a picture of the Stela D by Frederick Catherwood (pic 1). We were challenged to justify what we thought Mayan culture was like, by looking at the picture. We researched Mayan artefacts and we made junk models of them; then we made museum style explanations to go with them. During ICT sessions, we created tourist information leaflets (including weather surveys, places to visit and the El Castillo pyramid) about Chichen Itza, which is an ancient Mesoamerican ruin.

Pic 2: Year 5’s ‘Mayan Museum’
Pic 2: Year 5’s ‘Mayan Museum’ (Click on image to enlarge)

After that, for homework we made Mayan life scenes - that could fit in a shoebox. At a later date, we created vibrant, colourful Mayan headdresses and to top it off we moulded Mayan replica clay pots. On a Wednesday afternoon, (just before half-term) the date of the Mayan museum came upon us. Displaying all of our Mayan work, we were prepared to educate the Year 2 pupils about the Mayans. We explained to them all we had learned about the Mayans and we showed them our hard work. Every single one of them had learned something new and it was a great experience for us as well.

Pic 3: Headdresses and tourist brochures....
Pic 3: Headdresses and tourist brochures.... (Click on image to enlarge)

Year 5’s topic work on the Maya also included:-
- writing biographies about individual Maya people
- writing explanations for the Mayan artifacts in the ‘museum’
- making Maya headdresses
- researching about their beliefs and way of life.

CONGRATULATIONS to all concerned! We hope this will inspire other schools to share their project work...

This article was uploaded to the Mexicolore website on Mar 10th 2017

Casa Catherwood - a great source of information on his paintings in Mexico
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