Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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Breaking the Mayan Code - Mayan Math

In this activity, learners decipher a page from the Dresden Codex, one of the few Mayan books still in existence. By thinking like an archaeologist, students combine their mathematical abilities with some basic logic and trial-and-error investigation to figure out what the codex means. In the course of this explorations, participants discover: How archaeologists have figured out what Mayan documents mean. How the Mayan system of counting is like ours, and how it is different. How Mayan beliefs were tied to their understanding of mathematics.
Contributed by: Maurice Bazin and Modesto Tamez - Author, Exploriatorium - Publisher
Math TopicMathematics History, Measurement, Number Sense, Number Concepts, Algebraic Thinking, Mathematical Practices, Mathematical Processes, Other Math Topic
Grade Level4, 5, 6+
Resource TypeActivity, Instructor Guide/Manual, Project, Reference Materials, Article

  • Additional Information
    • AudienceEducator
    • LanguageEnglish (USA)
    • Education Topic
    • Interdisciplinary ConnectionSocial Studies
    • Professional DevelopmentNo
    • ContributorMaurice Bazin and Modesto Tamez - Author, Exploriatorium - Publisher
    • Publication Date2001
    • RightsCopyright (c) 2013 Exploratorium
    • AccessFree access
  • Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

      Select a standards document: