Scientists Discover Oldest Mayan Mural
Archaeologists have learned new things about the Mayans from an ancient mural.
Before reading, introduce students to the concept of the Mayan culture. Maya people thrived between 1000 B.C and the 1500s (A.D.). Help students identify on a world or Western Hemisphere map the location of the Mayan culture; the culture survived for centuries in the area that includes the present-day nations of Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador, as well as southern Mexico (including the Yucatn peninsula).
Introduce the words that appear in the News Words box on the students' printable page. Ask them to use one of the words to complete each statement below:
Read the News
Click for a printable version of this week's news story Scientists Discover Oldest Mayan Mural.
More Facts to Share
You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.
Check students' recall of detail by asking the questions below:
Think About the News
Discuss the Think About the News question that appears on the students' news page.
Geography. Provide students with an outline map that shows Mexico and Central America. (See Source 1, Source 2, Source 3.) Have them use library or Internet resources to locate and color the areas where the Mayan culture thrived. You might tell students that the area included the present-day nations of Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador, as well as southern Mexico. (If you teach older students, you might provide this additional detail: the civilization thrived in the Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Quintana Roo, Campeche, and Yucatn.)
Lanaguage. Students might have fun using the symbols (hieroglyphics) associated with the ancient Mayan language to write their names. You can supply them with a printout of those symbols from http://www.ancientscripts.com/maya.html (scroll down the page to the section headed "The Decipherment of Maya Hieroglyphs"). Students will need to improvise a bit because there are not symbols for every letter of the modern-day English alphabet.
History. Explore with the students the Web site Mystery of the Maya, which was developed by the Canadian Museum of Civilization to accompany the IMAX movie of the same name.
Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News question on their news story page.
Lesson Plan SourceEducation World
National StandardsNational Standards
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
SOCIAL SCIENCES: World History
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-WH.5-12.3 Classical Traditions, Major Religions, and Giant Empires
NSS-WH.5-12.4 Expanding Zones of Exchange and Encounter
NSS-WH.5-12.5 Intensified Hemispheric Interactions, 1000-1500 CE
See recent news stories in Education World's News Story of the Week Archive.
Article by Gary Hopkins
Copyright © 2006 Education World