Stitt School Students' Study of Mayas Leads to Macarena
Byline: Eileen Daday
The ancient Maya Indians may not have done the Macarena, but learning the dance played right into the hands of teachers - and students - at Olive-Mary Stitt School recently.
The popular dance needed no explanation; once the music came on, the more than 120 children, teachers and parents joined right in step, filling the commons area with laughter.
It was a day to celebrate their study of the Maya Indians and Central America, and celebrate they did.
The mysteries surrounding the ancient Mayan civilization continue to unfold - about their developments in astronomy, mathematics, architecture and their own form of writing - consequently they make an excellent subject for students of all ages.
The unique Mayan culture has been a unit of social studies for the fourth- and fifth-graders at Olive for five years now. Only this year they took it a step further.
After studying the Mayans and central America for three months, the students took a hands-on approach. They devoted an entire day to celebrating the Mayans - from eating some of their food, to making their crafts, to learning their dances.
"Up until now they've read about the culture, they've written about it, but they haven't experienced it," says teacher Galinda Tunney. "We wanted to end the unit with a bang. With all of the things going on, surely they'll remember something about the Mayans after today. …