The Maya

Block H - Technology

Study the fascinating Maya in this vigorously researched topic. Discover where and when the Maya built their magnificent civilisation as you develop a range of skills across the curriculum. Investigate how they lived, their culture and their legacy. Compare their lives to your own as you bring your learning together.

The tool technology of the Maya was based on the incredibly hard minerals jadeite and obsidian. Learn about how the Maya made beautiful and functional objects and their weaving and pottery skills. Weave a fabric in the Maya style and make pots.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Materials

Start by thinking about the types of materials the Maya might have had available to make objects out of. Make predictions about which materials would be used for certain types of objects. Think about which materials would rot and which would survive. Plan an experiment to test what rots and what doesn't.

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02: Pottery

Find the pottery objects in the collection of images. Use images of Maya pottery to design and make replicas from air-drying clay. Follow the same patterns and images, and try out some of the same techniques to make the replicas, like painting, incising and impressing.

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03: Stone

Find the stone objects in the collection of images. Think about how Maya people could have carved stone. Make a scientific enquiry to try to see how long it would take to carve a pendant. Carve a replica pendant out of Pears soap.

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04: Weaving

Plan what materials to use to make a backstrap loom. Try out weaving on a backstrap loom using the number sequence they devised.

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05: Firing pottery (optional)

Make a pit kiln and fire the dried pots in it, carrying out the experiment on which different fabrics the children used survive the firing.

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06: Maya museum

Make a living history museum showcasing their new skills and objects they have already made.