Maya Empire for Teachers
Confidence Building Shields Activity
Classroom Activity: Confidence Building Shields
Say: Itís important for everyone to feel good about himself or herself. The Mayas knew that. They encouraged the use of a confidence-building shield before heading into battle or facing a difficult challenge. Today, we might do the same before taking an important test or admitting to our parents that we did something wrong.
Today, you are each going to make a confidence-building
shield. Like the ancient Mayas, your shield, made in the shape of a flat circle,
will be a pictorial representation of wonderful you Ė showing the world your
special talents and gifts. If you donít feel you have any, you can always make
them up. Thatís what the Mayas did. You can credit yourself with great power and
talent. After all, it is your confidence-building shield.
Break into groups. Each student must make his or her own
confidence-building shield. However, it is important that your friends and peers
support you and help you build your confidence by offering compliments and
Hand out blank white paper or colored paper. Each student
will create their own shield with encouragement and verbal assistance from their
Depending upon your grade level, once everyone has made
some progress on their confidence building shields, hand out noisemakers like
conch shells and rattles, or whatever you have.
Parade and dance around the room, accompanied by noisemakers, building
Post confidence-building shields on the wall under a title that reads: Confidence Building Shields of the Ancient Maya