This username and password
combination was not found.

Please try again.

Hotchalk Global

view a plan

Lesson 2 focuses on the Symbolic Meaning of Glyphs


Art, Social Studies  



Title – Mesoamerican Glyphs
By – Roberta Reagan
Subject – Social Studies, Art
Grade Level – 3rd grade


Lesson 2
Unit Name: Glyphs in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica

Name of Art Lesson:  Symbolic Meaning of Glyphs

Name:  Roberta Reagan

Grade Level:  3rd Grade Art

1. Objectives:

Students will be able to:

1. Distinguish between various glyphs and identify some meaning in the glyph from certain elements in each glyph:

· Jaguar/animal
· Person/person in authority
· Corn/plant glyphs

2. Review and talk about stories in the Codex
3. Discuss various animals used in glyphs/focus on jaguar
4. Discuss composition/stylization:

· Note the way the people, animals, objects are a composite and interlocked within a story
· Note the linear and expressive elements of a glyph

2. Looking at and Talking About Art:

1. Time:   10 minutes viewing pictures, defining terms, talking about the various glyphs, and discussing the various glyphs in the codex.
2. Teaching Method:   Lecture, question and answer, and viewing pictures.
3. Class Organization:   Students will bring their chairs close to the TV and Computer area.  That is where we will view the pictures and have our discussion.  They will return to their tables when we are ready to do the worksheets.
4. Terms (review from last lesson):

a. Codex -an Aztec picture book made from tree bark, cloth, or deerskin, which was then folded back and forth in a zigzag manner.  Scribes attached thin pieces of wood at the ends of the strip, which formed covers that protected the pages.  Most codices were read from top to bottom, some were read around the page.  The whole codex was read from left to right.
b. Glyph – picture symbols and pictographs, symbols in which objects were represented by a miniature, often stylized, drawing.
c. Mesoamerican – ancient cultures of Mexico along with the Maya civilization.
d. Sculpture – a work of art that is meant to be viewed from all sides; a work of art that is three-dimensional.  It can be carved in stone or wood, modeled from clay or plaster or cast in metal.
e. Stella – a freestanding sculpture carved in stone or basalt.
f. Three-Dimensional – a work of art that is meant to be viewed from all sides; having the dimensions of depth as well as width and height.
g. Two-Dimensional – a work of art that is flat and viewed from the front, like a painting – having the dimensions of width and height only.
h. Realistic drawing – life-like
i. Stylized drawing – not life-like, but a form that represents something real

New terms:

1. Linear – dark, visible outlines in a “coloring book” style.   The lines are consistently thin with the same thickness throughout a composition.   In a codex, the objects are usually painted with dark visible outlines, and filled in with solid colors.

· Discussion Questions:

1. Picture:  Sculptures.  Question:  Do you remember from last week what this is called ?  What makes it a sculpture (review 2-D and 3-D).
2. Picture:  Picture:  Jaguar (realistic).  Question:  Do you remember what this animal is called?  What was the Mesoamericans’ favorite animal to draw or carve?  (review stylized and realistic drawing).
3. Picture:  Yaxchilan Lintel.  Review how glyphs were carved on lintels and on stellas.
4. Picture:  variousglyphs, incl. Jaguar glyph.  Question:  What kind of glyphs are these?  Remember back to our project we did last week – some were animal glyphs, some were people glyphs, and some were plant glyphs.
5. Picture:  Codex.  Question:  Do you remember from last week what this is called?  What is it made from?
6. Yaxchilan Lintel 45.  Question:  What do remember what is happening in this picture?  What is the mother doing?  What is the son doing?  What story was it telling?
7. Picture:  Various glyphs.  Question:  What style do you think these are done in?  Discuss Linear and composition.

3. Art Production Activities:
· Time:  40 minutes doing worksheet and drawing:  finish Maya glyph sort,  pick 4 favorite glyphs, then start design own animal glyph.
· Teaching Method:  Teacher instruction, followed by individual tutoring as needed.
· Class Organization:  Desk arrangement as is normal for that classroom and have 2 student helpers pass out worksheets and papers from last week, and another helper pass out supply tray (has glue/scissors/pencils).
· Step-by-Step Procedures:

a. Finish the Maya glyph sort worksheet and paste animal glyphs onto “Animal Glyphs” paper.
b. Circle 4 favorite glyphs.
c. Look at the 4 favorite glyphs circled on the “Animal Glyphs” paper.

a Question:  What is it about each glyph that makes it your favorite?
b Question:  What is it about the shapes or lines used in these glyphs that makes them your favorite.
c Question:  What is your favorite Animal?
d Think: How do you think you can draw your favorite animal using the ideas you liked about your 4 favorite glyphs you circled.?
e Think about those favorite aspects just discussed and draw own animal glyph.
f. Draw 3-4 different glyphs of your own.

4. Clean-up Activities:

· Time: 5 minutes to put away supplies and get ready to go.
· Class Organization:  1 person from each table put away supplies, finished worksheets and drawings are gathered by 1 student helper and given to me.

5. Evaluation Activities:

a. Time:  5 minutes to ask questions (like some terms) to see if they understand concepts covered.
b. Evaluation Method:  Question/Answer format with them seated at their tables.
c. Step-by-Step Procedures:

· Review terms
· Review glyphs viewed

6. Instructional Resources, Materials, Supplies, Tools, Visuals:

· Photos in visual file
· Large map
· TV hooked up to computer
· Floppy disc with Power Point Presentation
· Scissors, 8 ½”x11 drawing paper (17), worksheets, glue, pencils, papers from last week

7. A teacher-Made Sample:

· Show example of 3-4 drawn glyphs
· Show example of sandstone project

E-Mail Roberta Reagan !

Print Friendly, PDF & Email