Seventh Grade Students Celebrate Maya Day

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Last Friday, students culminated their study of the Maya empire with a daylong event in which they explored key aspects of Maya culture.

In seventh grade Cultural History, students learn about the rise of empires, beginning with a comprehensive study of classical Maya civilization, tenets of its culture, and its ultimate collapse. Maya Day provides an opportunity for them to share what they’ve learned about this ancient society with their classmates.

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As their final assignment of the unit, students conducted interdisciplinary research projects about the life of the Maya. Their presentation topics included a model of Chichen Itza, which is widely believed to be one of the Mayas’ largest and most diverse city; a retrospective of Maya gods; an overview of Maya athletics and music; and an explanation of the society’s ceremonial rituals.

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Participants played a Maya ballgame and competed in themed math games and rounds of Maya Jeopardy!, in which they tested their knowledge of the culture.

In keeping with the day’s theme, Ross Café served a midday meal centered around the major agricultural crops grown by the Maya, known as the “Three Sisters”: corn, squash, and beans. The meal included turkey posolé with mole sauce; a hearty hominy-based stew; tamales that were handmade by the seventh graders; roasted sweet potatoes and zucchini; and corn, avocado, and black bean quinoa salad.