Creative Practices

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Creative Practices’s Docs 5th grade Social Studies/Theater Lesson Plan

 The Mayan People – Music


  • How did the Mayans use music? (Discipline)
  • How can actors explore Mayan religion through music? (Theatre) 

Lesson Objectives:  Students will be able to: 

  • Name Mayan instruments (Discipline)
  • Play Mayan music (Theatre) 


  • NYS TH 1
  • NYS SC 2.4b



  • Theatre Making: Acting Students continue to activate and expand their imaginations, and explore the analytical, concentration and process skills associated with acting
  • Theatre Making: Acting Students exercise and refine the actor’s instrument- the body, voice and mind- through ongoing exploration of the physical, vocal, characterization and staging components of acting
  • Theatre Making: Connecting Theater to the Arts and Other Disciplines: Students deepen their relationship to theater by exploring elements of theater that are shared with other art forms and disciplines.


Do Now/WARM-UP – Students will listen to ancient Mayan music


Rationale: Music was important in the Mayan culture. Music was used in many of their rituals.

Prep Activity – Students will revisit the class system of the Mayans and create musical pieces from a variety of instruments used by the Mayans

Rationale: The amount of time spent playing music depended upon a Mayan’s place in society

Main Activity – Create a Dance for the Sun and the Moon – The Mayans celebrated a night of 1,000 dances – The Monkey, the Grandfather, the Shadow of the Trees, the Caterpillar. In groups students will incorporate music with the dances they previously learned

Rationale: The Mayan dances that were performed during rituals were done to music, this is an essential part of the Mayan religion

Reflection – Share Out

 Students will share their music enhanced dances with the class 

  • How did the Mayans use music?
  • How can actors express the Mayan  culture?                             

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