Ancient Egypt for Teachers
Activities and Projects
These are activity and project ideas for kids and teachers to use in your unit study of ancient Egypt. These activities can be adjusted for any grade. We hope you'll find some ideas you can use.
New Deities: Ask the class to come up with a list of some of the animals that live in your state. Record them on the chalkboard. Then have the kids create new gods and goddesses using the heads of your local animals. Brainstorm a list of topics that their deities can "stand for," such as friendship, schools, fun, etc. Challenge them to make their animal choices match the attribute they represent: for example, an owl-headed god of schools (wise as an owl), a dog-headed god of friendship ("man's best friend"), a bee-headed god of work (busy as a bee).
Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt: Explain how Narmer unified Egypt in 3100 BC, and that the double crown was created by combining the white crown of Upper Egypt with the red crown of Lower Egypt. Then, have the children create new symbols for a modern unification by combining the logos of competitors. To get them thinking, ask what the logo could be if Coke and Pepsi were united. Or MCI and AT&T, or Apple and Microsoft, or the USA and Canada, etc. Have magazines available for kids to reference corporate logos and an encyclopedia for flags of countries. Submitted by: Kevin Fleury; New Hampshire; USA
Ancient Egyptian Fairy Tales: Have the students rewrite their favorite fairy tale. Change the setting, and items to ancient Egyptian times. Instead of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves...I got a tale called, "Nefertiti and the Seven Tomb Robbers." There are some great tales to be changed, rewritten, and illustrated. Students learn many concepts from this unit. Submitted by: Jeanie Saiger; Grand Forks, North Dakota; USA
Barter: Have a mock bazaar by getting a 5 lb. candy bag, and pass it out (give some kids more than others... "Gee, this was a bad year for our Peanut Butter Cup crops!" Throw in other items to barter, such as pencils, stickers. The Egyptians ranked the value of their wares according to the "deben," a standard sized piece of copper. A goat may have been worth 1 deben, and a bed 2.5 deben. A reasonable trade would be 2 or 3 goats for one bed. Prepare for the activity by assigning each item a deben value. Cherry lollipops might be 6 deben, small lemon flavored candies 1 deben. Have each child take inventory prior to trading to calculate the total value of their starting worth. Let them trade. Have the kids recalculate. My kids were very particular about making sure they were getting their "deben worth"! Submitted by: The Chihuahua Pharaohs
Make a Mummy: Break your students into 6 groups. Have each group measure 25 yards of toilet paper, ending up with 150 yards total. You'll need a 12-roll pack of toilet paper. When they were finished measuring I randomly chose a student and we wrapped him in the toilet paper, took a class picture and then finished the lesson. Submitted by Barbara D. Martin; California, USA
Decorative Decodes (Be an Archaeologist): Have students write (with black permanent marker) their full names in any order (middle, last, then first - or however) on a sheet of white typing paper using hieroglyphic symbols. When finished, stain the papers in tea water and mount them on black construction paper. Give the kids the next week to decode all the papers and figure out whose was whose. Submitted by Barbara D. Martin; California, USA
Ancient Egypt Daily Life: Have each student write their own story about a day in Ancient Egypt. Their story must be at least 5 paragraphs long. They will write as if they were telling about their own life in Egypt over the course of one day. They can not be the pharaoh, a king or queen, or a god. They can be a priest, worker, soldier, merchant, slave, or visitor. They can work alone or in small groups. When working in groups, each student must turn in their own original work, but students stories must mesh and intertwine. When working in groups, students are encouraged to know each in ancient times. Information on ancient Egypt daily life may be found here: Daily Life Ancient Egypt.
Online Game Day: Ancient Egypt - Games and Interactive Learning Sites for Kids - I set this activity to work by creating a scavenger hunt sheet of things for kids to find in the sites listed on their exploration sheet. The kids have to site the source for each scavenger find for verification.
More ideas for Ancient Egypt Submitted by Barbara D. Martin; California, USA
Archeology--Use magazines to look up places around the world where archeologists are at work today. Make a large world map to show findings.
The Egyptians left out most vowels. Write a letter to a friend using no vowels and see if they can fill in the blanks.
Debate ethics of taking things from a tomb for museums.
Write a want ad for pyramid workers.
Make a clay pyramid using 2 cups each salt and flour, 1 1/2 cups water. Cover with sandpaper to give realistic look.
Compare the height of some of the worlds highest structures.
Pretend you are working on a pyramid. Write a letter home to your family describing your day, thoughts and feelings.
Design a pyramid you think would be safe from grave robbers.
Rosetta Stone--Make your own from plaster of Paris, carving it when dry with heavy needle or nail.
Find pieces of literature you think should be left as examples like the Rosetta Stone.
Sphinx--write a story telling what happened to the end of his nose. Read out loud and vote on the best story.
Tombs--list things you would want in your tomb.
What books do you think should be left behind for future generations?
Workers--compare ancient Egyptian and modern day.
Choose Your Own Adventure from over 70 different classroom activities and possible assignments
Concluding Activity for Ancient Egypt: Pharaoh's Fun House (Donn)
See Also: Lesson Plans and Activities - Many have activities incorporated into their lesson plan