History KS2 / KS3: What did Maya houses & buildings look like?

This entertaining reality TV parody introduces a Maya labourer who has designed his own nah, or traditional Maya home.

He talks about his design, his tools and the building's sometimes bizarre features.

The presenter outlines how it will contrast in its structure with the more prominent and famous buildings in bustling Chichen Itza, such as the pyramids and temples which are still standing today.

Subtle comparisons are made with British society at the time, which pupils can explore further independently.

We tour the completed house and view its accessories, furniture and décor, with the presenter explaining the main differences between this and a nobleman’s house.

This short film is from the BBC series, History of Early Civilisations - Maya. Through parodies of reality TV shows, this series introduces different aspects of the Maya civilisation.

Teacher Notes

Research a range of traditional Maya buildings and homes.

Compare and contrast these with buildings in Britain in the same era.

Compile a class glossary of Maya terms and create a crossword with definitions.

Create own nar model with captions for display.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching history at Key Stages 2 and 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Second and Third level in Scotland.

More from History of Early Civilisations

Maya Civilisation

Jobs in Maya civilisation
Fashion in Maya civilisation
What did the Maya eat?
Mayan Innovations & Inventions



Islamic Golden Age, circa AD900

Jobs in 900AD Baghdad
Great Fashion in Baghdad 900AD
How Houses looked in Baghdad 900AD
Invention & Innovation in Baghdad 900AD
What food did they eat in Baghdad 900AD