skip to main content

Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Discovery Education: Concepts in Number Theory

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

Tech Product Equipment

computer, Internet connection,

Activity Description

In this activity, students research the Maya civilization and its contribution to math. They also create a timeline, learn the Maya calendar and learn to convert from Maya base 20 to our decimal base 10.


  1. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school and that the activity can be viewed.
  2. Review the detailed lesson plans and resources.
  3. Copy resources about the history of Maya mathematics.


There are detailed lesson plans  and numerous resources available.

The following activities are listed:

  • Have students research the Maya culture and create a time line of Maya civilization using print and Web resources.
  • Have students summarize their research in a one-page report.
  • Review the decimal number system, place value, and expanded notation.
  • Show students how to convert base 20 numbers with decimal digits to base 10 numbers.
  • Have students convert several base 20 numbers to base 10 numbers on their own.

Teacher Tips

Review the lesson and the Web resources before using them with your students. If you can, bring a Maya calendar to class. You will need a Discovery Education account to view the video, Discovering Math: Concepts in Number Theory; however, all other resources are freely available.

More Ways

Review the vocabulary list included at the end of the lesson.

Select subjects and subcategories


  • Math Electives

Social Studies

  • World History
Scroll To Top

OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.