Take a Guided Tour of Maya Mexico, 2017

Explore the ruins of Ek’ Balam, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza, scramble through streets of colonial Merida, and sample the cuisine and culture of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on this guided photo essay (complete with suggested activities for use in your social studies classroom.)

This photo essay works perfectly in conjunction with the rest of our free Maya unit.

Suggested Activities

  1. Choose any topic described in a photo or caption in this album. Do deeper reading and research on that topic, creating a presentation to share with your class.
  2. Research and plan a realistic travel itinerary through Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula that focuses specifically on its Maya and colonial histories. Explain the historical or cultural relevance of your choices. Present the final itinerary with photos and estimated costs for the whole trip.

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What is Openendedsocialstudies.org?

Open Ended Social Studies collects and presents original and dynamic classroom materials focusing on parts of the world neglected by traditional world history textbooks in the United States.  The middle and high school lessons hosted here aim to foster critical and historical thinking, greater cultural awareness, and a sense of wonder about the world and our place in it. Open Ended Social Studies is free, always growing, and collaborative – please check back and contribute often.

Browse all of the free texts, activities, and lesson plans – all of the chapters missing from your conventional textbook.

Check out the library of travel writing and photography from previous adventures in the field.

The Yucatan: An Upcoming Open Ended Social Studies Expedition

In late November, Openendedsocialstudies.org founder Thomas Kenning will undertake a research expedition to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  This trip will form the basis of a new set of lessons covering the Maya civilization, furthering our mission of presenting original and dynamic classroom materials focusing on parts of the world neglected by traditional world history textbooks in the United States.

Continue reading “The Yucatan: An Upcoming Open Ended Social Studies Expedition”

March 12, 2017: Havana, Cuba – Daylight Savings in the Time of Revolution

I slept nearly 11 hours last night, which is unheard of for me.

I woke up this morning and took my breakfast in the street, a shot of thick, syrupy sweet coffee decanted and consumed in a crumbling doorway.  Caffinated and high from an unhealthy dose of sugar, I proceeded to the Museo de la Revolucion.   Continue reading “March 12, 2017: Havana, Cuba – Daylight Savings in the Time of Revolution”

Open Ended Social Studies has the chapters that your world history textbook is missing

What is the root cause of our world’s troubles?  

If you ask me, it’s not a trade imbalance or a terrorist threat.  If we’re talking about the problem that lies at the heart of everything, it’s got to be a severe, devastating lack of empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Continue reading “Open Ended Social Studies has the chapters that your world history textbook is missing”