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Investigating Ancient Egypt
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from the collection of the DIABooks
Beyer, Barry K. et al. Eastern Hemisphere. New York: Macmillan, 1990.
This was our text book, which provided basic information.

Our media specialist put together a list of resources at our school, "Egypt: Cruisin´ the Nile: Sources for Young Adults." The following are a few books on that list:

Bendick, Jean. Egyptian Tombs. New York: Watts, 1989.
The design, purpose, and excavation and legends of the pyramids, and ancient Egyptians´ beliefs about death, how mummies were made.

Clare, John D. Pyramids of Ancient Egypt. San Diego, CA: Gulliver/HBJ, 1992.
Describes daily life in ancient Egypt during the time of King Chephren, including clothing, makeup, home life, religious practices, burial rituals and construction and the role of the pyramids.

Giblin, James. The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone: Key to Ancient Egypt. New York: Harper Trophy, 1992.
Describes how the discovery and deciphering of the Rosetta Stone unlocked the secret of Hieroglyphs.

Hart, George and Peter Hayman. Ancient Egypt. New York: Knopf, 1990.
A photo essay documenting the objects left behind by ancient Egyptians, including mummies, pottery, weapons. Describes society, belief in the afterlife and methods of mummification.

Six Egyptian Postcards from the Brooklyn Museum. New York: Dover, 1994
Excellent source for mummy case designs.

My seventh grade students first did a survey of ancient Egypt´s geography, history and civilization using our textbook, Eastern Hemisphere (see below), for one week. Our class periods are 48 minutes long.

Next, the class was divided into groups of 4 or 5 students each. Groups were told they´d be investigating one area of ancient Egypt. Assigned topics were:

  • The geography of ancient Egypt and the Nile River valley
  • The Pyramids
  • Hieroglyphs and the Rosetta Stone
  • Religion of Ancient Egypt
  • Archeology and the re-discovery of Ancient Egypt


Assignment
Students were to produce a combined written and illustrated report, [Click to see table of contents] and give a 15-minute group presentation to the class. Also, a one page summary of their report would be given to classmates. Each student was responsible for writing a 250 word section of the report, with 1 or 2 illustrations per person. Each report needed at least one map, and a bibliography of at least 5 different sources.

I urged my students to
"Think! Work together! Ask questions! Look beneath the surface! Do well!"

Research
Three class periods were allowed to do research in the school media center; our school´s media specialist had just completed a list of Egyptian books (see resources) and helped point out resources. Students were encouraged to meet in groups after school, work at home and in community libraries. We continued to study Egypt for the first half of each class period and groups worked on their projects for the last half.

Presentations
Groups were encouraged to be creative and their presentations became mini-cultural festivals, with food, recorded music, and artifacts from modern-day Egypt. For example one group of students created a miniature diorama of a mummy in a tomb, complete with miniature bags of flour, as examples of what was found in tombs. One group made a model of the Rosetta Stone, painting characters on a small stone with a similar shape.Another group built a sugar cube pyramid, and one student´s father was an amateur archeologist who brought in slides and artifacts.
 

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