Year 6 begin learning about the Mayans

There has been a lot of excitement in Year 6 over the last two days as we began learning about the Mayans. Yesterday, we came into a darkened classroom to find Mayan music playing, artefacts to investigate and information about the Mayans to discover. We learned that the Mayans placed huge importance on chocolate, they were skilled builders and excellent Mathematicians and astronomers. We were interested to learn that the Mayans enjoyed playing sports as much as we do; although the consequence for losing was often sacrifice… a tradition that we are glad has not continued into the present day!

Today, we headed to Oxford to explore the many amazing artefacts of the Pitt Rivers museum. First of all, we investigated eight Mayan objects, using our analytical skills to identify what they were. By investigating jewellery, clothing, cooking utensils, writing and art, we were able to find so much about the everyday lives of the Mayan people, both rich and poor.

We learnt that Mayans often wore headdresses, beautifully decorated to honour their Gods or to show their status in Mayan society. We set out around the museum to examine various artefacts that could inspire our own designs. The headdresses Year 6 designed were, for the most part, incredibly authentic and would have suited any Mayan noble… although I’m not sure they had giraffes in Central America!

After a quick picnic, we then headed to the Natural History Museum next door. We were wowed by so many of the different animals on display, especially the enormous dinosaurs. It was very exciting to get up close and personal with many different animals (taxidermies): bears, insects, birds, whales and many different species of mammals – we were just glad that some of them weren’t real!  What an amazing day you have had, Year 6!