This powerpoint goes along with the Mayan Art Lesson Papers that I also have for sale. It gives a general outlook of what the Mayan culture/art/religion were all about. I talk about and show examples of things in this order: where the Mayans were located; they were farmers and grew certain foods; they were almost wiped out by the time the Spanish arrived looking for gold; religion and human sacrifice; kings and what they did; priests and what they did; the famous calendar; how multiple cultures and religions all managed to share very specific beliefs and temple structures etc when located on different continents; Pos-a-tok the Mayan ball game; human sacrifice beliefs and reasoning; how the Mayans were similar to the Egyptians; ancient flight/space travel; Mayan painting materials and methods; ceramics and burnishing; teeth modification; sculpture materials and methods; Architecture materials and methods; Palaces temples and observatories; weapons and warriors; trading goods; Mayan glyphs in writing and reading; introduction of the student project.
I have my students use a website that has a Mayan glyph dictionary to plan out and sketch the glyph blocks needed to say what they are trying to say in their design layout. Obviously some sounds were not used phonetically since Mayan is a specific language but the Mayans also did not have award for a lot of things that students are going to try to translate. Modern words would have no place in an ancient language so I tell my students if they absolutely MUST then they can create their own glyph or two to fill in the gaps in their translation designs.
Students are always very interested in the Mayan civilization mostly because of the human sacrifice but hopefully they can learn a thing or two about the culture and how this culture was very similar to multiple others from all over the world!