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Cotmanhay Junior School

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Y6 Term 1 Mayans

National curriculum content

  • Learn about a non-European society – the Mayan civilisation c. 900ad – that provides contrasts with British history
  • Gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past, and that of the wider world
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world, including characteristic features of past non-European societies


Lesson objectives

  1. Explore the lives of the Maya today, and use this as a way to begin to explore the Maya 1,000 years ago
  2. Find out how the Mayans worshipped their gods.
  3. Explore Mayan science and technology, and to reach a judgement about how advanced Maya society was
  4. Explore what we can find out about the Maya from their ancient cities, and ask why those deserted cities stayed hidden for so long
  5. Explain what happened to most of the Maya around 900 AD
  6. Make a Maya Codex book


What we want children to know

  • Where and how the Maya live today
  • That the Maya had many gods
  • Some of the reasons why the Maya had so many gods
  • Facts about Mayan cities from the archaeological evidence
  • Explore Mayan technology and achievements
  • How to add up using the Mayan counting system
  • That most of the Maya disappeared around 900 AD


What skills we want children to develop

  • Learn about interpretations – why different historians say different things about the decline of the Maya
  • Learn about similarities and differences as they compare modern-day Maya with the Maya 900 AD
  • Deduce information from studying a different period: pupils will use the Egyptians as a ‘way in’ to studying the Maya.



Archaeologist, base 20, codex, creation myth, hieroglyphs, interpretation, rainforest, sacrifice, stelae