Ancient Civilisation Dioramas

Farmer home : Mayan Civilisation
Grade 7 with Learning Difficulties
Materials: paint, cardboard, twigs,
leaf matter and Blu-Tac

I love history. Yes, it is as simple as that. Did I always love history? No. What then changed my opinion?

I have to say that it was a mystery which started it all. I was fascinated by a television show which aired when I was about 5 years old and I remembered it (although by the wrong title) until my childhood. Such an impression this series had that the moment it was released on DVD – I rushed out and purchased it so I could relive my childhood. The series I am writing about was Mysterious Cities of Gold. Yes, I thought Zia was awesome and I wanted to be her! Not to mention the medallion that Esteban wore…ah, the memories.

Then I went to school…and my hate of history began. It was boring. I had no interest in what was being drilled into us and often couldn’t connect. Once I was old enough though I dove into books and still to this day ancient civilisations in particular fascinate me.

I taught a composite grade 6/7 class a few years back and we did a unit on ancient civilisations, with a particular focus on buildings. To keep them involved that each got a little fold-together box (shoe boxes are getting very difficult to source on demand and quantity and this way all the boxes are the same).

I let the students use whatever materials we had available for them to create their model. It took about 4 lessons (50 mins each) to plan, collect materials and make the finished diorama.

Here are some of the results (in not specific order).

Temple : Ancient Greece
Grade 7
Materials: paint, grass, cardboard, foam, straws

Chichen Itza : Mayan-Tolec Civilisation
Year 7
Materials: paint, foam, toothpicks, wool

Viking Shelter : Scandinavia
Year 7
Materials: paint, twigs, bark, grass, cardboard

Inca House : Inca Civilisation
Year 6
Materials: paint, cardboard, rocks, sand



  1. Teddy Taylor
    February 28, 2015 / 8:03 am

    I like the boxes you have used – where did you get them??

    • Jenny Ward
      February 28, 2015 / 9:27 am

      I purchased them locally at a warehouse supply shop. They are actually cake boxes but I have found them very versatile in the classroom. I prefer the larger ones they sell (which I used in the dioramas).

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