Ancient Egypt Thematic Unit - Ancient Egypt Lesson Plans

Welcome to Ancient Egypt - A thematic unit for elementary students

Ancient Egypt lesson plans, web quests, games, and online activities


Attention all teachers!

On this page you'll find some neat lesson plans about Ancient Egypt, web quests, games, online activities and literature guides.  

 

 

 

Lesson Plans

 

 

  Mummies and Burials

Mummify a chicken:  You will need to wear gloves for this activity!  Buy a fresh hen from the grocery store.  Take the neck, liver, and gizzard out.  Mummify them in separate bags from the hen.  After they are mummified, they can be placed in canopic jars the students make.

Thoroughly wash the chicken inside and out, and pat it dry with paper towels.  Make a mixture of 1/2 salt and 1/2 baking soda.  Fill the inside of the chicken with the mixture.  Next, place the chicken into a large zip lock bag.  Completely cover the chicken with the salt and baking soda mixture.  Change the salt and baking soda mixture every five day for the first two weeks.  After the first two weeks, change the salt and baking soda mixture every 10 days.  After about 45 days remove the chicken from the salt.  Wip off the chicken and rub it with olive oil.  Sprinkle spices such as rosemary over it.  Pat the chicken dry and wrap it with strips of cotton or gauze.  Decorate the wrapped chicken with Egyptian symbols.  Paint the mummy with several layers of lacquer.

 

Make a burial mask - make a piece of poster board into a cylinder.  Cut out semicircles on the bottom of each side so that it will fit over the shoulders.  Cut strips down the top of the cylinder and fold the strips over each other to give a rounded top.  Staple or hot glue everything in place.  Spray paint the mask gold.  Using permanent markers, color on the features.

 

Paper mache mummy cases - Blow up a long balloon.  Cover the balloon with several strips of newspaper soaked in wallpaper paste.  Let dry.  Spray paint gold.  Use permanent markers to color in the features.  Spray with clear sealant.
Life sized Mummy cases
Egyptian Mummies
Paper Mummy Cases
Fruity Pharaohs mummification activity
Make a canopic jar
Die Like An Egyptian - unit using multiple intelligences

 

  Gods, Goddesses and Religion

Egyptian Scarab Lesson
Egyptian gods and goddesses coloring sheets to print out (Seagraves)
gods and goddesses word search (Seagraves)
gods and goddesses memory game (Seagraves)
gods and goddesses matching game (Seagraves)

 

 

  Pyramids and Architecture

Activities:

Create a cartoon strip showing the steps involved in building a pyramid.
Build a model of the step pyramid out of sugar cubes.

 

Online Lessons:

Design an Egyptian Burial Chamber
Tour of the Tomb
Cubit Measures
Build a scale model of the Great Pyramid
Mr. Pitonyak's Pyramid Puzzle - determine the cost of building a pyramid today
Mysteries of the Nile: How Did They Do It? -  Students learn how ancient Egyptians used levers to raise obelisks. PBS site.

 

  The Sphinx

Carve a model of the Sphinx. Give each student a piece of floral oasis.  Using a pencil, draw the outline of the sphinx on the block.  Use plastic knives, spoons and toothpicks to carve your sphinx.  Spray the finished carvings with fleck-stone paint to give the impression of stone carvings.  Be sure to wear goggles so that flecks of oasis do not get in the eyes.

 

Sphinx. Sphinx offers a variety of math and logic puzzles sorted by category and levels of difficulty for grades 9-12 (gifted grades 4-6). Some solutions are provided. Students can also contribute their own puzzles via email.

 

 

 

  Pharaohs, Queens and Government

Make a crook and a flail

Make a false beard

Make a pharaoh's crown

Letter from a Queen - lesson plan in which students write a letter from an Egyptian queen ensuring her legend lives on.

 

Egyptian People

 

Egyptian Social Pyramid - this site gives information about Nobles & Priests, Soldiers, Scribes, Merchants, Artisans, Farmers, and even Slaves & Servants
Egyptian Social Pyramid Activity
Egyptian Social Pyramid Worksheet

Geography of Ancient Egypt

  

Have the students use the Internet to download images of historical Ancient Egyptian cities and sites.  Using a program such as Print Shop, they can create post cards about the different sites with historical information on the card. 
Have the students use PowerPoint to make a tour of historical sites and cities in Egypt.  Each student in the class can make one of the pages in the presentation.
Have the students use Print Shop to make a travel brochure of Ancient Egypt.  They can draw the pictures, or they can download them from the Internet. 

Online lessons and links:

CyberJourney to Egypt - you'll find some really cool Quick Time VR here
The Geography of Ancient Egypt -this is a neat online activity in story form.

Hieroglyphs

Activities:

Have the students write simple messages to each other using hieroglyphs.  You can purchase hieroglyphs rubber stamp kits, or the students can draw them.
Have each student make their own cartouche necklace.  On a piece of poster board, draw the shape of a cartouche.  Cut out the cartouche and spray paint it gold.  Using sharpie permanent markers, draw the hieroglyphs which spell your name.  Punch a hole in the top of the cartouche and put a piece of yarn through the hold for the necklace.  

Online Activities:

Letter to Hieroglyphics Encoder Activity
Sentence to Hieroglyphics Decoder Activity
Hieroglyphics to Letter Decoder Activity
A Little Egyptian Reading Book (upper elementary)
Send an Egyptian E-card

 

Links for more information about hieroglyphs:

Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Writing with Hieroglyphs
Egyptian Hieroglyphs - A printable hieroglyphic alphabet for students to cut and color

  Egyptian Mathematics

 

Egyptian Calculator
Egyptian Mathematics Problems -1
Egyptian Math Problems -easier
Ancient Egyptian Math - An Internet Treasure Hunt

Egyptian Clothing

Activities:

Make a jeweled collar
Make Egyptian jewelry 

Make an Egyptian Wig - cut lengths of black yarn about a foot long.  Have children braid three lengths together.  Continue making individual braids.  Attach the braids to a piece of cloth either by stitching or gluing them on.

 

  Egyptian Recreation

Internet links to sites for Egyptian games to play online or to download

Play senet
Play Hound and Jackals
The Royal Game of Ur
Twenty Squares game download
Nine Men's Morris

 

  Plan an Egyptian Feast

Plan an Egyptian Feast as a culminating activity for your unit.  Have the students make their own costumes.  Students can share the projects they have created during their study.  Serve refreshments such as:

Grape juice to represent wine, Round loaves of bread, grapes, figs, dates soaked in honey, three bean salad, and cucumbers

 

  Art of Ancient Egypt

Activities:

Have the students make a plaster relief.  Get styrofoam meat trays and fill them with Plaster of Paris. Put a paper clip into the plaster to use as a hanger.  After the plaster has hardened, remove it from the tray and  draw a scene in Egyptian style on the plaster with a pencil. Next, paint the scene with acrylic paints.  After the scene is painted, outline the objects in black.  Your Egyptian relief is now ready to hang.  
Make a gold relief.  Get large, thin, disposable foil trays.  Spray paint the tray black.  Place a stack of newspapers under the tray.  Using a ball point pen, draw or trace a scene on the tray.  Make sure that you bear down hard with the pen to make an impression in the foil.  Rub gold "Rub and Buff" over the scene.  The tray will turn gold, but the details of the scene will show up in black.  Mount the tray on a piece of cardboard or foam core board.  These are very impressive.

Online lessons:

Draw Like An Egyptian

  Egyptian Archaeology

Activities:

Can you guess what these artifacts are? (Seagraves) - neat online activity
reconstruct a clay pot - give each student a clay flower pot.  Have then put Egyptian designs on the pot using paints or markers.  Spray the pot with clear shellac to seal the paint.  Use a hammer to break the pot into many small pieces.  Give a different student the pieces and have them use Elmer's glue and put the pot back together.  Hint - it's easiest to reconstruct the pot upside down starting with the lip of the pot.  Archaeologists today use a water soluble glue to reconstruct pots so that they can soak them in water and take them apart if they need to.

  Egyptian Farming

Activities:

Make paper from papyrus -Papyrus lesson plan or Make simulated papyrus
Plant an Egyptian garden - in a small garden area plant onions, dill, leeks, radishes, and lettuce.
Dry grapes to make raisins - get a bunch of red or green seedless grapes on a baking sheet, making sure that they do not touch each other.  Place a piece of cheesecloth over the sheet.  Place the sheet in a sunny location.  Check every couple of days to make sure the grapes are drying out.  The entire process usually takes between 2-3 weeks. The longer you leave them out, the darker and more shriveled they will get. When they have dried out to your satisfaction, place them in an air tight container.  If you live in a real humid area, you might want to use a dehydrator to dry out your grapes. 
Grow papyrus - papyrus is easy to grow. You can order papyrus to plant from many pond catalogs.  Papyrus grows best in wet soil and will grow in standing water, but if you do not have a pond, you can grow it in a large tub. It will do well in sun or partial shade.  It is very easy to propagate.  Just divide the clumps.  You can order papyrus seeds in packets of 100 from DeGiorgi Seed Company - 6011 N. St., Omaha, NE 68117 800-858-2580.  Stock number 21127.  Cost is $2.00 per packet of 100.
Make a model of a shaduf

  Egyptian Homes

Make a model of an Ancient Egyptian house using shoeboxes and other materials you might find around your house.  Be sure to add furniture and decorate both the outside and inside of the house.
Try making your own sun dried bricks:  Get some dirt from a riverbank and mix it with straw and a little water.  Add enough straw so that the dirt is very clumpy.  Put the mixture into a small shoebox and set it outside to dry.  Once the dirt has hardened, peal the shoebox off of the brick.

Online Activities

Secrets of Egypt: An Interactive Journey
Egyptian Jigsaw Puzzle (Seagraves)
The Underworld Challenge - online activity
Letter to Hieroglyphics Encoder Activity
Sentence to Hieroglyphics Decoder Activity
Hieroglyphics to Letter Decoder Activity
Lever an obelisk online game
Clickable Map of Ancient Egypt
Hatshepsut's Revenge - online game
Egyptian Scavenger Hunt
Virtual Mummy
Deep in the Tombs of Egypt (Donn)
Neferchichi's Tomb
Wild Egypt Online Safari
Ancient Egypt coloring book
Color me Egypt for Kids
Ancient Egypt Jr. Thinkquest
The Great Pyramid by Guillaume Leonhardt The Great Pyramid is a card game where you climb the ancient Egyptian social ladder to become the Pharaoh and build your own Great Pyramid.

WebQUESTS

Ancient Egypt: A Webquest
Ancient Egypt Webquest
Ancient Egypt Webquest - middle school
King Tutankhamen - Was it Murder?
Virtual Museum  Egyptian Webquest (T. Zimmerman)

Literature CyberGuides

The Golden Goblet Cyberguide
The Egypt Game Cyberguide
Mara Daughter of the Nile Cyberguide
Pyramid Cyberguide
Tutankhamen's Gift

 

Books For Students to Read

Climo, Shirley, illustrated by Ruth Heller, The Egyptian Cinderella, Harper Collins, 1989.
DePaola, Tomie, Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile, G.P.Putnam's Sons, 1987
Gregory, Kristiana Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Scholastic Inc, 1999
Lumpkin, Beatrice and Nickens, Linda, Senefer: A Young Genius in Old Egypt,I African World Press Inc., 1996
McGraw Eloise Jarvis, Mara, Daughter of the Nile,  Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers,1985
McGraw, Eloise Jarvis, The Golden Goblet
Sabuda, Robert, Tutankhamum's Gift, Atheneum, 1994.
Snyder, Zilpha Keatly, The Egypt Game, Dell Books for Young Readers, 1985
Walsh, Jill Paton, illustrated by Fiona French, Pepi and the Secret Names, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994.

 

Internet Links

Guardian's Egypt
Neferchichi's Tomb
Color Tour of Egypt
The Ancient Egypt Site
Deep in the Tombs of Egypt
Odyssey in Egypt - Online Expedition
Pyramids the Inside Story by PBS Online
The Art of Ancient Egypt - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Mr. Donn's Ancient History Page  - great links about Egypt
Detroit Institute of Art:     Lesson Plans about Ancient Egypt
Mysteries of Ancient Egypt - Complete unit with teacher's Guide
Ancient Egyptian Multicultural Unit - Interdisciplinary lessons with background information, illustrations, and classroom activities for teaching about Ancient Egyptian culture
Die Like an Egyptian - A collection of Internet based projects for each of the multiple intelligences.

CLICK to Enter Guardian's Egypt

Graphics courtesy of:


2001 S. Seagraves

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