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Educational Resources

Complete this word puzzle to learn about the Maxwell Museum and SW culture.

  origami dog instructions  Make a Lobo Mascot

Learn about the Japanese art of origami and make your own origami dog.

Biological Anthropology

Ancestors Exhibition 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

Ancestors Scavenger Hunt   Ancestors Scavenger Hunt PowerPoint presentation

Ancestors Scavenger Hunt PDF

Ancestors Scavenger Hunt answer key

Download our scavenger hunt to go around the web and discover more about our early ancestors.

Ancestors Scavenger Hunt website list

Ancestors flash cards 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. 

evolution of human locomotion Bipedalism

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! 

Compare Skulls  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. 

DIY cave painting Cave Painting

Make your own cave art! Cave painting is one of the oldest forms of art found all over the world. Explore some cave art and get inspired to make your own. 

Cave Painting Tutorial

Southwest Archaeology

People of the Southwest Exhibition Virtual Tour
Take a virtual tour of our People of the Southwest Exhibition and 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 .

Cross-mending activity 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.

Great Houses worksheet 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. 

Google Earth Video Tutorial

DIY sundial Archaeoastronomy - 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 diagram 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. 

DIY petroglyphs Petroglyphs

Learn what petroglyphs are, how they are made and why they are an important record of the past. Then carve some petroglyphs of your own design. Includes information and resources to learn about and explore petroglyphs right here in the Rio Grande Valley! 

Projectile points 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. 

tree-ring timeline Dendrochronology

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

Native American Culture

Maxwell Museum docent Diana Shea presents our Weaving in the Southwest traveling trunk. Learn about types of weavings and the steps taken to make a woven item.

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

DIY paper baskets Basketry

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

How to make Paper baskets

yucca painted pottery  Pottery

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.

How to make a Yucca paintbrush

World Culture


Chinese Fortune Teller   Using Symbols

Learn about symbols and make a Chinese Fortune Teller.

This Chinese legend tells the story of one of the eight famous Chinese horses, Moon Dragon, through the shadow puppetry tradition. 

  authentic Chinese shadow puppets       Shadow Puppets and Storytelling

Learn about the history and practice of Chinese shadow puppetry and make your own shadow puppets. Includes additional resources to make your own puppet theater, write a shadow puppet play  and  experiment to  discover the properties of light and shadow. 


  ancient Egyptian tomb wall panel   Ancient Egypt -hieroglyphs, tombs and temples

Ancient Egyptian society level pyramid Ancient Egyptian pyramids

Explore ancient Egypt and discover hieroglyphs, pyramids, temples and more!


Dr. Loa Traxler

Ask an archaeologist - grades 5-8

Ask an Archaeologist - grade 9-adult

Dr. Loa Traxler, Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies Director at UNM answers questions about the field of archaeology and her career as a Mayan Archaeologist.

Try sky watching like the ancient Maya and make your own star finder to identify constellations.

Learn how the light and shadow effect on the pyramid El Castillo in Chichen Itza, Mexico can track time.

DIY constellation viewer Constellation viewers

Discover the story of the stars in the night sky and make a constellation viewer to tell your own story.

Maya codex Maya hieroglyphs and math

Write like the ancient Maya and make your own codex. 

weaving word puzzle Maya Weaving

Discover the history, technique and patterns of Maya weaving. Complete your own weaving word puzzle and make your own friendship bracelet.


DIY sistrum  World Music and Folk Instruments

Travel around the world and discover folk instruments. Make your own instruments and play them to accompany various songs, chants and dances. Includes additional resources with lessons on musical instruments, cultural heritage and the science of sound and music. 

Japanese sho Guess that Instrument Game Powerpoint presentation

Try this listen and guess matching game to explore a small sampling of musical instruments from around the world that are part of the Maxwell Museum Ethnomusicology collection. 


Paper dolls from around the world Dolls from Around the World

Explore dolls from around the world and make your own paper dolls.

How to make Corn Husk Dolls!

Maxwell Museum docent Carolyn Minette demonstrates how to make corn husk dolls. Celebrate the harvest and share the bounty of the season with corn husk dolls made by you!

Museum Resources

Ancestors Exhibit

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.

 Peoples of the Southwest Exhibit

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Peoples of the Southwest Exhibit

Suitable for upper elementary and middle school students, this guide provides a focus to study the material remains and archaeological processes of Southwest Puebloan sites presented in the exhibition.

Object Analysis Worksheet - grades 5-8

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Object Analysis Worksheet

For grades 5 - 8, this worksheet directs students to look closely at, and think and write about an object in the museum.

object analysis worksheet - grades 2-4

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Object Analysis Worksheet

For grades 2-4, this worksheet directs students to look closely at, and think and write about an object in the museum.

object analysis worksheet - grades 9-12

Museum Activity Guide for Children: Object Analysis Worksheet

For grades 9-12, this worksheet directs students to look closely at, and think and write about an object in the museum.

Museum Rules

Museum Rules

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

For the Classroom

North by Southwest

Curriculum: North by Southwest

Interdisciplinary lessons for grades 3-5 to utilize the hands-on materials in the loan kit focusing on indigenous communities of the Bering Sea region, their material culture, art, environment, and lifestyle.

Educator's Resource Guide

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.

Mexico at the Hour of Combat

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.

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

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.