Mayan civilisation – KQ3 – What was everyday life in Mayan civilization? How different was it for rich and poor?

Having been introduced to the nature of Mayan society with its clear hierarchy, and having seen various models and artists’ impressions of life in Mayan city states 1,200 years ago, pupils are asked to use their creative imaginations to produce a brief tour guide of a typical city. But they must focus on the use of three key senses: what they might see; what they might hear; and what they might smell. This gives full rein to their creative imaginations and enables them to research widely and independently.

© Look and Learn

KQ3 What was life like at the height of the Mayan civilization? An overview lesson

Learning objectives

In this overview lesson:

  • Pupils grasp that artists’ reconstructions are based on a mixture of physical evidence and imagination;
  • they are able to detect patterns in images of everyday life;
  • they are able to use their creative imagination to reconstruct a typical cityscape using sight smell and sounds to bring the society alive;
  • they understand that society was hierarchical (king above craftspeople and merchants, then farmers then slaves at the bottom) and can distinguish between the luxurious royal court in palaces and everyday life for common people who lived in wood
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