Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • Look carefully at this object. There are two parts, a bowl and a lid. What else do you see? What makes this bowl special?

  • Examine the lines covering the bowl and the lid. The lines are actually grooves, incised or cut into the surface of the clay, probably with a sharp stick, before the object was fired. The grooves were then filled with red pigment—probably with cinnabar or hematite.

  • While it could be elaborately decorated or complex in shape, almost all Maya pottery was functional. Look carefully at this piece of pottery. How is it similar to pottery of today? How is it different?

  • Maya artists often used images of living creatures. How many living creatures can you find on this piece?

Making Connections

For Students K-12

  • Imagine being served something to eat in a lidded bowl like this. Design your own special bowl and decorate it. Remember that the Maya artist who made the Lidded tetrapod bowl used his/her decoration to tell an important story. See if you can make your decoration tell a story too.