This primary resource introduces children to Mayan civilisation. Discover the sites and secrets of Mayan life. How did the Maya live? Where were they found? What were they known for?

Pupils will learn about how the Maya excelled at architecture, agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, mathematics and calendar-making in our National Geographic Kids’ Mayan civilisation primary resource sheet.

The teaching resource can be used in study group tasks for evaluating evidence and archeological artifacts, as a printed handout for each pupil to review and annotate individually, or for display on the interactive whiteboard, using the images and information included in the resource for class discussion.

Activity: Ask children to choose an incredible fact from the information on the Mayan primary resource sheet, and write a newspaper article about it. They could draw a picture of a Mayan building or imagine they have travelled back in time to a Mayan settlement and write a postcard home, describing what they can see and hear. Ask a class, pupils could discuss why the ancient Maya are considered one of the ‘most inventive’ civilisations, giving evidence for their answers.


N.B. The following information for mapping the resource documents to the school curriculum is specifically tailored to the English National Curriculum and Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. We are currently working to bring specifically tailored curriculum resource links for our other territories; including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. If you have any queries about our upcoming curriculum resource links, please email:


This History primary resource assists with teaching the following Key Stage 2 History objective from the National Curriculum:

  • A non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900–1300.


This History primary resource assists with teaching the following Social Studies Second level objectives from the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence:

  • I can discuss why people and events from a particular time in the past were important, placing them within a historical sequence
  • I can compare and contrast a society in the past with my own and contribute to a discussion of the similarities and differences

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