Kingstone And Thruxton Primary School


Kingstone, Hereford, Herefordshire HR2 9HJ


Year 6 Terrific Topic Work


The Mayans

We have been very busy in our topic sessions this term. We started our Mayan topic watching a BBC clip about the Mayans and drew images of everything we learnt from it.

We then started to explore where Maya would have been located (South America) and used Google Earth to see where this is. We then discovered that Mayan cities would be surrounded by jungles and it would have been a hot climate. We even linked this with our knowledge of the Rainforest topic we did in Year 5. We then brainstormed this type of habitat and all the different elements of it. We used this to think about how a creature could adapt to live in such an environment as we have been studying evolution and inheritance in our Science lessons. 

We then started to use our science knowledge of evolution to design a creature that could adapt to the Mayan environment.

We then used this design to create a model with a working pneumatics system in it to show a movement it would have made. We did this in pairs so we had to adapt our original designs and also had to alter the shape due to the resources provided. We had lots of fun creating these and went on to make excellent evaluations of our work. Take a look at our journey below. 

We then went on to discuss how if these creature would have existed back in Mayan times, that today they could have looked very different. We explored Darwin's theory of The Galapagos Finches to think about how they could have evolved. 

This then made us think more... How do we know what these creature would have looked like? We explored this and went on to discuss fossils. We made our own so we could understand the process better. Check out the recounts of the process below:

We then wanted to know what life was like for the Mayans. We discovered that not only did they play a game called Pok-a-Tok (which we have written excellent news reports about - check out our wonderful writing page to see these) but they were very religious as even the Pok-a-Tok court was attached to the temple. They also believed in lots of gods and these gods had both a good side and bad side. We discovered all about blood lettings and how people were sacrificed to the gods. We made our own clay tiles to represent some of them. 

We have also discovered that the Mayans were very clever people. They even had their own counting system! However their place value was different to ours. Instead of breaking their number into units, tens, hundreds etc. Then Mayans would count in units, 20s and then 400's. They also used different items to represent numbers. a pebble was a one, a stick would be 5 and a shell was a zero - holding the place value! Check out our interactive Mayan Maths lesson. 

And we still got half a term to discover more...