Lesson 401 – Belize

Belize has a decidedly different history and culture from the rest of central America. English is the first language of this small nation, reflecting its British ancestry, yet Belize retains deep historic connections among its many residents of Maya ancestry, and is proud of its strong African roots among the Garifuna people. Belize also has world-class archaeological sites, vast tracts of intact rainforest, and some of the world’s richest marine treasures.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the people of Belize and its archeological sites, rainforest and coast.

Social Studies Standards

Culture: B, C

Discussion Prompts

  • Why is Settlement Day an important holiday for the Garifuna people and how do they celebrate? Describe some of their traditions. Compare and contrast to a holiday that you celebrate. 
  • Host David Yetman states that Belize is an unusually diverse country. What are some of the reasons for this? Do you agree with this statement?
  • Why are the Garifuno and Mayan people who live in Belize today worried about their fate?
  • Compare Belize’s diverse culture that includes Asian, Hispanic, and African inhabitants with the country you live in and its residents. How are they alike and different?

Lesson Activities

  • Create a journey map with color and words that illustrates 5-6 highlights of the rainforest you would pass by on the scenic drive along the Hummingbird Highway. 
  • Research the barrier reef coastline of Belize, including the marine life, and create an infographic that shares how tourism supports the country economically.
  • Draw a map of Belize that is to scale (50 miles long, 200 miles wide) and label the cities and landmarks mentioned in the video as well as neighboring countries and bodies of water.
  • Research the Maya’s civilization and ancestry, including such architecture as the Cahal Pech and create a historical timeline of Maya history in Belize.


  • ancestry
  • audacity
  • commemorate
  • incomparable
  • impenetrable
  • preserve
  • provoke
  • rambles
  • salvation
  • stalwart


Lesson Plan