Discover the fascinating maths and calendrical systems of the Maya. Learn about the Maya numerals, their maths system and the Dresden Codex. Represent Maya numbers. Consider the Maya calendar and compare it to our own system. Make a Maya calendar, learn about The Long Count and Maya Tzolk'in days and draw birth month symbols and then form them out of clay.

Session 1 Maya maths

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • Undertake an in-depth study of a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history - The Maya civilization.

Maths

  • Appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics.
  • Develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the Maya numerals, their maths system and the Dresden Codex; use sticks, stones and shells to represent Maya numbers.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To become familiar with the Dresden codex and its importance as evidence of Maya numerals.
  • To become familiar with the Maya maths system and use sticks, stones and shells to represent numbers.

Children will:

  • Become familiar with the Dresden Code and its importance as evidence of Maya numerals.
  • Explore the Maya maths system and use sticks, stones and shells to represent numbers.

You Will Need

  • Shells and stones
  • Lolly sticks

Session 2 Maya calendar: cogs and cycles

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • Undertake an in-depth study of a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history - The Maya civilization.

Maths

  • Appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics.
  • Develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.

Teaching and Activities

Consider the Maya calendar and compare it to our own system; make a Maya calendar.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To consider the Maya calendar and its features. To compare to our own calendar system.
  • To make their own Maya calendar and learn how to read it in the way the Maya would, for example to plan when to sow seeds or harvest plants.

Children will:

  • Consider the Maya calendar and its features and compare to our own calendar system.
  • Make their own Maya calendar and learn how to read it in the way the Maya would, for example to plan when to sow seeds or harvest plants.

Provided Resources

  • 4 different Maya calendars
  • How to make a Maya Tzolkin calendar

You Will Need

  • Split pins
  • craft match sticks
  • Sheets of card
  • Modern calendars and diaries

Session 3 Maya calendar: The Long Count and Tzolkin Days

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • Undertake an in-depth study of a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history - The Maya civilization.

Design and Technology

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products which are fit for purpose.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about The Long Count and Maya Tzolkin days; draw birth month symbols and form them out of clay.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand what is meant by The Long Count and Maya Tzolkin Days.
  • To draw Month symbols and form out of clay.

Children will:

  • Consider the Maya calendar and its features and compare to our own calendar system.
  • Understand what is meant by The Long Count and Maya Tzolkin Days.
  • Learn about the significance of that month for the Maya.
  • Draw month symbols and form them out of clay.

Provided Resources

  • Good things to do on Tzolkin Days
  • How to make a birth month glyph

You Will Need

  • A bag
  • Air-drying clay
  • Clay tools
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife
  • Clay board