Following a brief introduction to locate the Mayan civilization in time and place, stress that we knew very little about this society until recent excavations. Then give over most of the lesson to pupils finding out for themselves possible reasons why the Maya were such a significant society, worth studying in school. The question is deliberately open ended allowing for pupils to form their own opinions. There are no ‘right’ answers, at this stage. We merely want pupils to become curious, feel that they are learning quickly on their own, and working things out for themselves. This is strengthened by the spectrum activity. Finally pupils predict what a short video on the topic should include.
The first key activity is gallery.
Posted around the room, as if an art gallery, are a number of images relating to the Mayan civilization of approximately 1,000 years ago. These are contained within the PowerPoint presentation. Use as many as you like. In terms of differentiation, a handy tip is to place the easier images to one side of the gallery, getting more difficult as they spread across the room. Start the lower-attainers with the easier ones. Meanwhile the most able