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    (3) What lesson(s) can I use to teach about Mayan mathematics?


    There are many lessons available online for teaching the Mesoamerican/Mayan numeral system.  Among these is a lesson from the Exploratorium in San Francisco called “Breaking the Mayan Code.”  This lesson begins sharing some information about the Mayan’s and the impressive stone temples that they built.  It approaches the Mayan system from an archaeologists standpoint and asks students to decipher a page from the Dresden Codex which has several numbers on it. It presents information about numbers in different base systems with an emphasis on base-20, and asks a series of leading questions that guide students through the process of deciphering the codex.  The codex represents a calendar that does not exactly match the calendar we use today and the lesson finishes by leading students to a comparison of the calendar in the codex and the modern calendar.


     Exploratorium Lesson Excerpt  










    TODOS lesson excerpt