Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • Investigate this object carefully. What do you notice?

  • How would you tell someone a story without using any words?

  • What kind of stories could connect a community?

  • The sages of Olmec civilization etched their creed on polished stone artifacts and then rubbed red paint into the patterns. This small, carved greenstone tablet's incised symbols are not actually writing but represent the only known image of the Olmec concept of the cosmos. How could this object be used to connect the Olmec people with their gods?

  • What is a creation story? Why are creation stories important to communities? What other creation stories do you know?

  • Who do you think may have owned this object? What makes the object so special?

  • It is unknown how such a plaque would have been used. It is not drilled for suspension, could not have been worn as a pendant, and is neither a ceremonial celt or other type of regalia. What do you think this tablet might have been used for?