Middle School Social Studies / 6th Grade

Messages from the Maya

How can we better understand, respect and protect indigenous people and their culture?

Students begin this unit with a virtual exploration of the remains of a Mayan city in Copan, Honduras where they analyze artifacts for evidence of the characteristics of civilization.  From there, students explore how the Mayan civilization evolved and adapted over time including exploring how their languages and culture survive to the present day. Students learn about the collapse of the Mayan civilization through a structured academic discussion and then trace what has happened to the Maya since then. Throughout the unit, students are drawing connections between the history of the Maya and the histories of other Indigenous communities in their own area. The unit culminates in a social justice fair where students identify how indigenous people in the Americas are fighting for their rights and create an education campaign to support that work.

Unit length: 6 weeks (30 hours)

"When I come to school now, I am actually happy to be here, like I want to be here at school."

Jayana, Student
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