History KS2: Introducing the Maya civilisation

Young Akbal introduces us to life in the Maya civilisation, which existed in Central America 1,000 years ago.

He tells us about his city's pyramids, buildings and food, including the importance of maize to their civilisation.

He discusses how you can tell the status of a person by the headdress that he wore, before showing us how the game of Mayan football is played.

This clip is from the series Lost Lands.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could compare football today with the Mayan ball game – how similar are the rules?

Was the ball game as important to the Maya as football is today to many people?

Pupils could also discuss what it was like living in a rainforest.

What foods were grown? What was the climate like? How well adapted to living there do the children think the Maya were?

This could also be used to investigate pyramids, comparing Maya pyramids with those in Ancient Egypt.

This could also be used to explore the foods we eat today compared with foods of the Maya.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching History at Key Stage 2 and Second Level.

More from the series Lost Lands

The story of the Benin bronzes
Introduction to the Indus Valley
Introducing Ancient Egypt
Introducing the Shang Dynasty
Baghdad in 900AD
Introducing Ancient Sumer