How to make a Mayan Temple – homework help from Family Makes!
I know, it can seem frustrating and kind of odd that teachers insist on sending this type of project home – make a model of ‘insert historic monument or artefact here‘! Frustration/desperation aside though, it does make sense really. It reinforces their learning (which is the point of homework at this primary school age), it is meant to be fun, and it is something which they probably wouldn’t be able to find the time to do in class, with all of the other curriculum pressures they have these days.
So, that’s my bit for sticking up for teachers. But I’m not a teacher, I’m a Mum, so I totally understand the normal pressures of family life too! That’s why I’m hoping we can offer you some help here. This project in particular gave me some headaches! There isn’t much information out there about making Mayan Temples. So, here it is, in a nutshell:
Background information about Mayans –
The Mayans were a civilisation based in Mesoamerica, the area we now know as Central America and Mexico. The classic Mayan period is considered c 200-900 AD, but there is evidence of beginning of Mayan civilisations as far back as 250 BC.
Mayans were very interesting, they developed writing, were well known for their mathematical skills and development of an accurate calendar. They developed cities and interesting architecture which can still be seen today. They were also very blood thirsty and had blood-letting and piercing rituals, as well as human sacrifices. Real Horrible History!
The Mayan Temples were square stepped pyramids. This makes for interesting craft challenges!
Toby has made a video for you, showing how we made our model, and giving some more Mayan facts.
The basic premise of the model is:
- Collect square boxes in various sizes, or rectangular boxes which can easily be cut and re-sized to square (not cubes, just the main surface being square)
- Stack the boxes in decreasing size, then secure together. We used double-sided sticky tape as glue can make the boxes soggy or sometimes isn’t secure enough.
- Paint the boxes in your chosen colour. We used acrylic paint as poster paint doesn’t cover printed and shiny boxes well. Initially we were going to go for red as Mayans painted their temples red to represent blood which they thought was alive, but after a comprehensive search we found most temples were stone-coloured (sandstone or grey), so we went for a mix of these. You could also add a moss green to represent the growth and ageing over the years.
- Add patterns as per the Mayan examples
- Use folded cardboard to make the steps up the sides of the temples, and stick in place
- Add people if desired, or mount on a board painted green for the grass and trees.
If you want more homework help, we’ve also done projects about How To Make A Roman Shield and How To Make An Anglo-Saxon House Model, as well as some interesting STEAM type science in taking apart and looking inside a tablet computer, an X-box and a printer!
Would you like to pin this for later?