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Outing #2: Maya Math, Art, & Bingo?!

Chichén Itzá


My kids and I are meeting once a day with other families to go on our Virtual Outings together. When I asked the kids what they wanted to learn about, there was lots of enthusiasm for space, ancient temples, and cultural stories (aka mythology). So, we decided to visit Chichén Itzá on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.

To jump in, visit the Living Maya Time website created by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. This beautiful website explains how Maya culture--past and present--

combines a deep knowledge of astronomy, math, architecture, nature, and story.

Make sure to check out at least these pages and videos:


  • What was something that you didn’t know about the Maya that you found interesting?

  • The Maya closely observed the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets. They used these observations to make very accurate calendars. What tools do you use to track time and mark the seasons?

  • Much of the Maya calendar is used to track agricultural (farming) cycles--they needed to know when to plant and harvest their crops. What are important times in the year for you to track?


There are lots of good interactive activities on the website including:

For hands-on activites, try...


Post your thoughts and Maya-inspired artwork in the comments below, via Facebook, or by email!

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