St Marie's Catholic Primary School

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The Maya civilisation

Home learning focus

Learn about the ancient Maya civilisation.

This lesson includes:

  • one video introducing the ancient Maya civilisation
  • one video exploring what life was like for the ancient Mayas
  • two videos to build knowledge and understanding



The Maya civilisation began long ago in a place called 'Mesoamerica'. This vast area is made up of Mexico and part of Central America.

The Mayas built amazing cities like Tikal (which they called 'Yax Mutal') and Palenque. Even though they lived in different cities ruled by various kings and queens, the Mayas shared a lot of common beliefs and traditions.

They were experts at reading the stars and even built their cities as a map of the sky! They were also inspired by the creatures of the forest and shared many legends about animals, plants and nature spirits.

Watch the video below for more information on the Maya civilisation.