Here's how the middle school students are exploring the Mayan theme: In language arts, students will read and analyze Mayan creation mythology and folklore and revise and publish their persuasive essays (final drafts due December 11). Next week they will draft their own pieces of family folklore, so this is a great week to share family stories around the dinner table.
During explorations time, our new theme began with an in-depth lesson on the earth’s orbit around the sun and the causes of the seasons. Ask a middle schooler why winter is colder than summer. The answer has nothing to do with earth’s distance from the sun. We have been watching and discussing the video, The Maya, Temples, Tombs and Time, and discovered that there is still a Mayan sub-culture today in the Yucatan.
We have been doing a lot of group math experiences studying and using the Mayan base 20 system. It is fun to compare this system with our own and other systems used around the world. The students have found it challenging to calculate using the Mayan numbers.
All middle school students need to choose a topic for the Mayan research project from the list we created in class.