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Educational Resources

Virtual Tour

People of the Southwest

Take a virtual tour of our People of the Southwest Exhibition. Hear stories of the people who live in the Southwest today and examine material culture of people who lived here in the past.

People of the Southwest virtual tour vocabulary list

Virtual Tour


Take a virtual tour of our Ancestors exhibition and go behind-the-scenes of the museum collections and laboratories.

Ancestors virtual tour vocabulary list

At-Home Activities: Biological Anthropology

Our Human Family Tree

Journey back in time and meet our earliest ancestors. Learn who they are, where their fossils were found and what traits they had and how they changed. Then complete a timeline of the human family tree and make your own ancestor flash cards and trading cards to keep or give away.


Discover the traits necessary for bipedalism – walking upright. Compare the features of chimpanzees, early human ancestors and modern day humans, then explore footprints. Make your own footprint trackway and analyze footprints just like a Forensic Anthropologist would!

Tracking Traits Through Time

Learn how the fossil and archaeological record shows how our physical and behavioral traits have changed through time. Compare fossil skulls, make calipers to measure 3-D objects and try our opposable thumb challenge.

At-Home Activities: Native American Culture

Navajo Rug Interactive

Explore this interactive presentation to learn about designs and styles of Navajo rugs.

Weaving Instructions

Instructions for making your own cardboard loom and weaving a rug sampler. Includes techniques for adding designs from weaving cultures from around the world.


Explore a collection of coiled and woven baskets from the Maxwell Museum collection and weave your own paper basket using recycled materials.


Explore a small sample of pottery from the Maxwell Museum collection, read a story about pottery making and identify the parts of a pot. Resources and instructions to design a pot and for clay pot making included.

At-Home Activities: Southwest Archaeology

Archaeology - Puzzling it Together!

Dig deep into archaeology terms and methods, then try some puzzles. Complete a matching activity and word search puzzle, then color and assemble your own pottery puzzles.

The Great Houses of Chaco Canyon

Take a virtual trip to Chaco Culture National Historical Park with an interactive Google Earth presentation. Fly around the park and identify the Great Houses and learn about the features that make them unique. Complete and color a worksheet to remember your tour.

Archeoastronomy – Time Keeping

Time travel to the past and keep time like the ancient ones with these fun solar activities. Make your own sundial and track the sun with the Stellarium app. Make daily and yearly observations of the sun and learn about time and the seasons.

Stratigraphy Mystery

Dig deep into the principle of stratigraphy and the Law of Superposition! Learn how archaeologists use the layers of the earth in relative dating of artifacts. Use your best observation skills and decipher the clues to recreate a timeline of artifacts in the Southwest.

Stone Tools

Take a close look at stone tool shape and design. Describe projectile points like an expert and play an I Spy guessing game. Then sketch a tool of your own design.


Discover how dendrochronology is useful in archaeology. Create a timeline of historical events and make a tree-ring project that tells your own story!

Museum Resources

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Ancestors Exhibit

Suitable for students in upper elementary and middle school, this guide provides a focus to explore our early ancestors, their biological traits and cultural behaviors. Activity answers here.

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Object Analysis Worksheet Grades 2-4

This worksheet directs students to look closely at, and think and write about an object in the museum.

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Object Analysis Worksheet Grades 5-8

This worksheet directs students to look closely at, and think and write about an object in the museum.

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Object Analysis Worksheet Grades 9-12

This worksheet directs students to look closely at, and think and write about an object in the museum.

Museum Rules

For group visits, please share these guidelines with all students, teachers and chaperones visiting the museum and ask for their cooperation to make everyone's visit a pleasant one.

Pre- and Post- Visit Lesson Plans: People of the Southwest Exhibit

3rd- 5th grade curriculum to supplement the Maxwell Museum’s signature museum visit experience. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, lessons include storytelling, analysis, vocabulary exercises, art projects, and more, to look for evidence within objects that provide an invaluable source of information about human behavior.


Classroom Resources

Educator's Resource Guide: Weaving Generations Together, Evolving Creativity in the Maya of Chiapas

These archived activities of the Weaving Generations Together exhibition provide information and ideas for hands-on activities exploring the traditional weaving practices of the Maya of Chiapas, Mexico.

Photos as Primary Sources: Mexico at the Hour of Combat

Visual Literacy exercises for grades 6 and up that use Sabino Osuna’s photographs to understand how visual images shaped events of the Mexican Revolution as they were happening and, as primary sources, add to our understanding of this chapter of Mexican history in a broader context.