Maya Empire for Teachers - Confidence Building Shields Activity Illustration

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 encouragement.  

Hand out blank white paper or colored paper. Each student will create their own shield with encouragement and verbal assistance from their group.   

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 your confidence.  

Post confidence-building shields on the wall under a title that reads: Confidence Building Shields of the Ancient Maya

More Classroom Activities for the Maya

Lesson Plans for the Maya

Maya Warriors

Maya Religion