Kerr Mackie Primary School

The Maya

We launched the topic with an archaeological find in the forest area looking for facts about the Maya. Children found the facts and reported back to their groups to create a group mind map. We then discussed these facts and thought about why they were important to our history.
  • I can use the correct historical vocabulary in my writing and discussions about the past  
  • I can describe the ways of life of ordinary people who lived in this country or other parts of the world in the past.  
  • I can describe the beliefs and ideas people held.  
  • I can describe connections between developments in different time periods  
  • I can describe why an event, people or individual are significant  
  • I can talk about the causes and effects of events in the past  
  • I can ask and answer more complex questions about the past  
I can select appropriate information from different sources to find out about the past,
I can organise my understanding of history in different ways
I can write as if I were living in the past.
We explored the Maya people's culture, hierarchy in their society, religion, who discovered their culture from Europe and how their civilisation ended.
The children wrote diaries as Spanish Conquistadors, imagining what it would be like to like to find the Maya architecture and towns for the first time. 
In another lesson, Year 6 researched the Maya creation story and were able to storyboard the narrative behind the Maya Gods. 
In order to bring the Maya culture to life, we even played a game of Pok-a-Tok in PE. The Maya people played this game and losers would be sacrificed to the Gods. We only played for fun! It's a ball game where players can only touch the ball with their right elbow, knee and hip. The children thoroughly enjoyed this but were extremely tired afterwards!
Alongside the classwork, we set a homework to create a Maya temple. We had some amazing structures using clay and cardboard brought into school.


As a challenge, we ended the topic by creating a Maya artefact.  Each child designed and created their own clay tile as an example of what we might find in Mesoamerica as evidence of the Maya.  The patterns were inspired by real idols that we explored in art.

It is safe to say that Year 6 have really enjoyed this topic and are excited to extend our role as historians with World War 2 in January.