The amazing Maya civilisation created writing using logograms and hieroglyphs. Find out how the writing was used, and use them to write and draw words including your own name. Discover the Copan stairway and its hieroglyphs and marvel at the four main Maya codices. Finally design, paint and make a class or school Maya codex on ‘tree bark’.

Session 1 Hieroglyphs and logograms

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 civilisation.

Art

  • Gain an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.
  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Planning and Activities

Learn about the Maya writing system of logograms and hieroglyphs; write and draw words including your own name using the glyphs.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the Maya writing system and how it was used.
  • To look at syllable glyphs of the Maya people and write/draw words using the glyphs.

Children will:

  • Look at examples of Maya writing and at logograms, asking: What can they tell us about Maya culture?
  • Understand syllable glyphs of the Maya people and write/draw words using the glyphs.

You Will Need

  • Plain paper
  • Black markers

Session 2 Hieroglyph stairways and emblems

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 civilisation.

Art

  • Gain an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.
  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Planning and Activities

Discover the Copan stairway and its hieroglyphs; make a class hieroglyph stairway and design a class or school emblem glyph.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the Copan stairway and discuss the hieroglyphs on it.
  • To design a class or school emblem glyph and consider significant hieroglyphs.

Children will:

  • Gain insight into the Copan stairway and look at the hieroglyphs contained on it.
  • Discuss the significance of the Copan stairway and the meaning of dynasty.
  • Make a class hieroglyph stairway and design a class or school emblem glyph.

You Will Need

  • Maya syllable charts from session 1
  • Boxes of a similar size to fit together in a stairway
  • Brown sugar paper and sticky tape
  • Black marker pens

Session 3 Fig trees and codices

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 civilisation.

Art

  • Gain an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.
  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Planning and Activities

Marvel at the four main Maya codices; design, paint and make a class Maya codex on ‘tree bark’.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To look at Maya codices, their importance and what they contained.
  • To learn about the important codices (Dresden, Madrid and Paris) and where they were found.
  • To design, paint and make class Maya codex on ‘tree bark’ (paper and PVA glue).

Children will:

  • Gain an insight into the three Maya codices, their importance and what they contained.
  • Design, paint and make class Maya codex on ‘tree bark’ (paper and PVA glue).

You Will Need

  • Figs (ready to eat, dried or fresh)
  • Tea bags
  • Small decorating rollers
  • PVA glue and brown paint
  • Masking tape