ACTIVITIES

SOCIAL STUDIES

1. Make an illustrated TIMELINE!  Here is a list of the objects in these Teaching Materials:

 

a.       Head of the rain god Tlaloc

b.       Featherwork neckpiece

c.        Cylindrical vessel with royal ballgame scene

d.       Mantle with birds

e.       Dog with human mask

f.         Stirrup-spout vessel with deer hunting scenes

g.       Seated ruler in ritual pose

h.       Wall panel depicting Lady Bolon-K’an in ritual dress

i.         Ceremonial mask

j.         Eccentric flint depicting a crocodile canoe with passengers

k.       Headdress ornament with heads flanked by crested crocodile

l.         Tablet with incised symbols

m.     Stirrup-spout vessel with felines and cacti

n.       Drum with Anthropomorphic Mythical Being holding trophy heads, club, and plant

o.       Lidded tetrapod bowl with paddler and peccaries

 

Distribute this list of objects among the class -- perhaps there will be 2 students to each object.  Have each group make a drawing of the object and fill in the blanks in these statements:

 

1. This object was made by the ___(people or culture)___ .

 

2. This object was made ___(date)___ .  The abbreviation "c." is short for the Latin word "circa," or about.  This means scholars do not know the exact date.

 

3. This object comes from ___(name of the modern country)___. 

 

Now that the data is collected, make the TIMELINE to show this information visually.  Use the drawings to mark the spot on the timeline when the object was made, and add the other information about the "culture" and "modern country" below the picture. 

 

2. The Paracas Mantle with birds is an example of clothing.  What other objects in these materials include images of clothing?  Consider the Stirrup-spout vessel with deer hunting scenes, the Cylindrical vessel with royal ballgame scene, or the Seated ruler in ritual pose.

 

Analyze the clothing in these works of art and consider how it is different from everyday clothing.  Split the class into groups and have each one focus on one example of clothing.  Have each group answer these questions: 

1. How did the artists or craftspeople make this clothing special?

2. What important ideas did this clothing communicate?

Then bring the groups back together to report their findings.

 

Identify an example of modern clothing that communicates important ideas about the person wearing it.

 

3. The cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west – were important spatial references for many Mesoamerican people.  The four sides of the Tablet with incised symbols may relate to the cardinal directions.  Think about how the Tablet provides other important information about the Olmec world.  How is the Olmec world structured?  A globe is an object designed to model the structure of our world.  Consider what information globes provide.  How is the Tablet similar to and different from a globe?