Tuesday, February 19

The Storm Runner & Mayan Mythology

The Mayans had many gods. There were over one hundred and sixty-five. Many of them were nature-oriented, like the god of the sun, Kinih Ahous, or the god of maize, Yum Kaax. Most of these gods were mortal. They would help the Mayans with their jobs. 

The Mayans built enormous temples to these gods and kings. The temple to the gods was on a flat platform at the top of the pyramids. Some very famous pyramids are in Chichen Itza. They also studied astronomy here. There were two kinds of Mayan pyramids - one was for the people and priests, and one that was sacred (only the high priest could enter). There were stairways that led to the top of the pyramids. 

The Mayans feared death because only those who were given as sacrifices to the gods, or died at childbirth, were not sent to the underworld. Even the priests and kings were sent to the underworld! The underworld was said to be filled with demons, evil gods, and jaguars. Jaguars were the spirit animal of every king. A spirit animal was a soul of an animal that shared a body with a person. Everyone had a spirit animal, except the priest, who could have more than one. These spirit animals were called 'Way Ob.'

For this unit, The Storm Runner is our spine read.

Access the complete unit study in the World Mythology Unit Studies Bundle!

Includes sixteen unit studies covering world mythologies. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning ancient through modern history.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!


  1. Looks like a lot of fun and I love the Lego people!

  2. I have read a bit about Mayan history but never looked too deeply into their religion and gods. This was interesting.

  3. My daughter studies the Mayan peoples and their myths a while back. It was interesting.


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