Ancient Egypt: a complete, Step-by-Step Unit Study. Websites on Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Egypt: A Complete,  Step-by-Step Unit Study.
Websites on Ancient Egypt- A listing of websites that are filled with facts, pictures and other useful information. Some have lesson plans.

Optional Resources - Here is a list of other resources that you may want to incorporate into your study.

Site Map of this Ancient Egypt Unit Study

Ancient Egypt is a fun and fascinating time period in history to study and learn about. Your child's natural curiosity and the mysteriousness of ancient Egypt will compel them to "dig in" and search for answer's to how and why the Ancient Egyptians lived like they did.

This unit study can be completed in any length of time, although I have found that 8 weeks works well, so that is how the format is arranged.  Children at different grade levels can easily work together on this unit by adjusting the individual readers to each child's reading level and by encouraging the older children to help the younger children. 

Set aside a special time to read out loud together. This is a wonderful way to spend time with your children. It creates a pleasant learning environment that produces positive results and memories that will warm your heart.

Text to use:
*The Reese Chronological Bible pgs. 97 - 344
The Bible is an excellent and accurate resource for ancient history.  The Reese Chronological Bible  places all the historical biblical events in the order in which they occured in time. For example, the first verse listed is John 1:1. You'll be reading in Genesis then suddenly it will skip to Chronicles and the book of Job starts before the book of Genesis is completed. It's a wonderful book and I found it very interesting how it made more sense when read chronologically. Reading the Bible this way made the context of the setting, people and the time period really come alive.

How to use:
Divide the number of pages by 8 (or by however many weeks you plan to devote to this study). Then divide by the number of days in a week to get the amount of pages to cover each day. After doing the math you will probably think it's alot of reading. Actually we didn't read it word for word. It's just too much to thoroughly cover in 8 weeks. You can skip over the who begat who lists, the long lists of all the laws, etc. and still get the historical background out of it.

*Listed above are the actual pages from the book that relate to Ancient Egypt. If you don't have a Reese, you can read the scriptures in Genesis and Exodus surrounding the lives of Joseph and Moses.

Text to use:
*The Usborne Book of World History Pgs. - 14 - 23, 33-39 
I like Usborne books. They are similar in format to a comic book. Lots of pictures and the information and descriptions are short and to the point and the children really like them! In The Usborne Book of World History you will find historical facts about ancient cultures,their lifestyles, customs, clothing, foods, homes, maps and ideas for crafts. This is one book that you will use for all of your history unit studies, so it's best to get a hardback copy.
(please note: for those who may be concerned, the drawings are historically accurate so some of the cartoon drawings show the woman from ancient cultures with no shirts on.)

How to use:
Use the sections in this book to set the project theme for each week. For example, pg. 17 is titled Food and Drink so that weeks projects focus on the different foods, hand grind some grain and make bread, crush grapes with your feet, organize a banquet. Pages 18-19 is titled Tombs and Life after Death, so that week read about mummification, mummify a doll, make a burial mask, etc.

Other History resources to use:
*Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure : Secrets of Ancient Egypt
*The Egyptian News
*The Pharoahs of Ancient Egypt - Elizabeth Payne
*National Geographic Magazines - Issues Dec.1982, Mar.1977, May1969
National Geographic is a great resource for up-to-date information on other cultures. There are many issues that cover Egytian history. I used these mainly for the maps, the photos and the informative captions that went with the photos. You can find back issues at your local library.


Videos are perfect for teaching world history. They give a visual interpretation that is not soon forgotten. Visual learners greatly benefit from videos. They also make a nice break from the regular school day routine, especially on a rainy day.

*The Ten Commandments

*The Egyptian
*The Mummy 
*Cleopatra (although Cleopatra is from the Classical Roman era the video portrays an accurate visual of the lifestyle, customs and clothing in Ancient Egypt)
*Joseph King of Dreams - Animated, by Dreamworks
*The Prince of Egypt - Animated, by Dreamworks
*Napolean's Obsession:Quest For Egypt
*National Geographic's Mysteries of Egypt
*National Geographic's Egypt: Quest for Eternity


Texts to use:
*The Usborne Book of World History
*National Geographic Magazines
*ABEKA Old World History textbook (great source for maps)

For geography you want to study the location, land features, animals and plants. Below I have listed what to do one day each week.

Remember: A little bit is better than too much. Too much information crammed into the one day a week alotted to studying Egypt's geography can burn out both you and your child. The idea is to have fun!

1) Location of Egypt

Have children locate Egypt on maps and on a globe. Note what continent it is in. Figure out it's size in square miles. Draw an outline map and label major cities and rivers. Or make a salt dough map.
2) Egypt's Neighbors
Locate Egypt's neighboring countries and using the outline map that the children drew last week, label them in.
3)Land Features
Read about the Nile River, deserts and oasis'.
Read about sedimentary rock which was used for buildings and temple construction. Also limestone, which was used to build the pyramids.
Read about Egypt's climate and have the children figure out what type of season Egypt would be experiencing at that particular moment.
Find out what plants grow naturally there and which are cultivated for food.
Study the animals that live in Egypt.
How did the Egyptians dress, what types of houses, family life, religion, customs, etc. Also what is Egypt like today and the current population.  


Text to use:
*The Everyday Science Sourcebook : Ideas for Teaching in the Elementary and Middle Schools by Lawrence F. Lowery
This is THE Science activity sourcebook for all your homeschooling needs! It's not very fancy, only a few black and white line drawings, but it is PACKED with all the science activities you will need. Sample topics covered are Inorganic Matter, such as solids, liquids, gases, geology, oceanography, meteorology. Organic Matter such as animals, plants, microorganisms, ecology. Energy, such as electricity, magnetism, sound, motion, atoms and molecules, Astonomy, Machines and much more.

How to use:
We used the section on Machines in The Everyday Science Sourcebook.  The Ancient Egyptians, using just simple machinery, accomplished astounding achievements. Look at the Pyramids, the Great Sphinx and the grand temple columns and statues. They didn't have cement trucks or cranes, instead they used levers, pulleys and wheels. Incredible! The lesson numbers below refer to specific activities in The Everyday Science Sourcebook. If you already have several science experiment books you might be able to find other related experiments and activities in them. Some of these science activities can take alot of time but can be completed in one day. I found that devoting one day a week to focus just on Science eliminated the stress of worrying that we weren't covering everything. The same goes for devoting one day a week to focus just on History, Geography and Art (see Basic Weekly Schedule).

1)Simple Machines overview

Read about simple machines in a good children's encyclopedia like World Book or The New Book of Knowledge published by Grolier. 
Also, do the following activities: 
511.01, 511.02, 511.03 & 511.04 - Characteristics of force, Feeling force and Applied force and Counter-force.
511.05, 511.07, 511.08 & 511.09 - Feeling friction, Using lubrication to reduce friction, Using bearings to reduce friction and Making a model ball bearing.
3)Levers-First Class
511.10, 511.11 & 511.12 - Identifying the characteristics of a first-class lever, Determining Numerical Patterns Using the First Class Lever (basically this experiment compares the different levels of weight and force exerted when the levers' pivot is placed in different locations on the lever) and Finding everyday examples of first-class levers.
4)Wheels & Axles
511.19, 511.20 & 511.21 - Identifying the characteristics of the wheel and axle, Finding examples of wheels and axles and Determining numerical patterns using the wheel and axle.
511.23, 511.24, 511.25, 511.26 & 511.27 - Identifying the characteristics of a pulley, Comparing pulleys with levers, Finding examples of pulleys, Making a pulley and Examining a single fixed pulley.
6)Inclined Planes
511.40, 511.41 & 511.42 - Identifying the characteristics of an inclined plane, Finding examples of inclined planes and Determining numerical patterns using inclined planes.
7)Wedge and Screw
511.43, 511.44, 511.45, 511.46 & 511.47 - Identifying the characteristics of the wedge, Recognizing varieties of wedges, Sensing the advantage of wedges, Identifying the characteristics of the screw (winding inclined plane), Finding examples of screws.
8)Building a Delta
142.19 & 142.20
During the last week of our study we looked at how water carries and deposits materials. The Ancient Egyptians greatly depended on the yearly deposit of mineral rich soil that happened when the Nile River flooded. This experiment gives a visual of how that works.  


Texts to use:
*Key To Geometry by Key Curriculum Press
*Geometry section of any math book
*Measurement section of any math book

Instead of your regular math curriculum, you can use this time while studying Ancient Egypt to learn (or review) geometry. 

The Egyptians used geometry extensively, especially when building the pyramids! The oldest records of the study of geometry are Babylonian clay tablets and Egyptian bark manuscripts that are nearly 5000 years old. Both the babylonians and the Egyptians studied geometry. It helped them to survey land, measure distances and construct buildings and monuments.

Some Math terms to cover during this unit study:


Cubic measurements
Bisecting Angles
Congruent Figures
Line Segments

The following readers are grouped by reading level. The reading levels are just for your information. All of the following books are excellent reads no matter what level. Older children will still benefit from an elementary level book and vice versa. If a higher level book is too difficult for a younger child to read then have an older sibling read it to them.

Mummies Made In Egypt - Aliki
Zekmet, The Stone Carver - Stolz
The Egyptian Cinderella - Climo
Tuts Mummy, Lost and Found - Judy Donnelly
Aida - Price
Mummies in the Morning - Mary Pope Osborne
Time Warp Trio, Tut Tut - Jon Scieszka
I, Tut, The Boy Who Became Pharaoh - Miriam Schlein
Time Traveller Book of Pharaohs and Pyramids - Usborne

Pyramid - David Macaulay
Into the Mummies Tomb - Nicholas Reeves
Cat Mummies - Kelly Trumble
The Cat of the Bubastes-A Tale of Ancient Egypt - by G.A. Henty
Secrets of the Mummies - Shelley Tanaka
Horrible Histories - The Awesome Egyptians - Terry Deary
The World of the Pharaoh - Anne Millard

Youth or Family:
Mara, Daughter of the Nile- Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Golden Goblet - Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Lost Queen of Egypt - Morrison
The Egyptian Necklace - Myron Palmer


Books to use:
Mara, Daughter of the Nile- Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Golden Goblet - Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Both of these books are fun to read aloud. The are very exciting and my children would refer to and talk about the events in these stories long after our study was done. (See reviews on the left)

A note about Family Reading Time:
Family reading time is so special. I have wonderful memories of reading out loud, with my children sitting all around me. We usually read just before bed, but when we had a baby in the home I found that the best time to read was while the baby was nursing for his late morning nap. 

Whatever time you choose try to be consistent and make sure it is when there are no other distractions occurring. Be sure to turn your answering machine on as it never failed that someone would call just moments after beginning to read!

Younger children that have a hard time sitting quietly for long periods can be given a page to color from one of Bellerophon's Egpytian coloring books to keep them busy while they listen.


Composition and handwriting go hand in hand (pun intended :o). If your child has already learned cursive then having them do their writing lessons in cursive is practice enough. There should be no need to do a separate cursive lesson.

Books to use:
*Story Starters on Ancient Egypt by Steve and Jean Henrich
This is a step by step, guided questions approach to writing that produces excellent results and makes writing fun. Teaches character, setting and plot development plus directions and ideas for drawing your characters. You can order Story Starters on Ancient Egypt from Teacher's Discovery. Request their catalog on their website. 

*The Write Source (A Student Handbook/Grades 4-10) by Patrick Sebranek. 
A very handy resource to have available.  This handbook covers everything you need to know about writing/composition. Sections include Words & Sentences, The Mechanics of Writing, The Writing Process, The Paragraph, The Classroom Report, The Poem, The Short Story, Using The Library, Study Skills, Tables, maps, and Useful Lists, American Almanac, A Dictionary of Prefixes, Suffixes and Roots and a whole lot more all crammed into this easy to use reference book!

What To Do:
If using Story Starters just follow the daily suggestions. 

If using The Write Source or any other composition handbook, have your child write sentences, stories, poems or plays about Ancient Egypt. (If you don't have a handbook I would highly recommend you add one to your home schooling resources. I found it to be very useful and necessary). 

Writing Ideas:
Write a sentence about Ancient Egypt using one or more of the following types (the Handbook will explain what each type is):
Compound Sentence
Complex Sentence
Declarative Sentence
Interrogative Sentence

Write a paragraph about Ancient Egypt using one or more of the following types:

Descriptive paragraph
Narrative paragraph
Expository paragraph
Persuasive paragraph

Write a..

Research Report
Short Story
Book Review
News Story

Some ideas on what to write about:
*A typical day in the life of an Egyptian child, family, pharoah, priest, scribe, farmer, goldsmith, stonecutter, soldier, etc.

*Report about an animal that is common to the culture.

*The mummification process.

*The Gods and Goddesses that the Egyptians believed in, what they stood for and describe what they looked liked, etc.

*Describe an Egyptian Banquet; the sights, sounds, smells, and the feel of the foods, music, perfumes, people, clothing, etc.


Although the following books are not Egyptian oriented, I am listing them here because it is what we used for Grammar. If you have the time, you could write your own sentences with an Egyptian theme, or pick sentences out of Egyptian stories for your children to label the nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.

Texts to use:
Easy Grammar Plus Workbook  by Wanda C. Phillips
Easy Grammar is exactly that, easy. This is a workbook for daily review (if you are following the basic weekly schedule of this unit study then you will use Easy Grammar twice a week). Contains clear explanations and is self guided for the student.

Simply Grammar: An Illustrated Primer by Karen Andreola
This is the revised and expanded version of Charlotte Mason's First Grammar Lessons. The lay-out is simple and straightforward and the lessons can be done orally or older children can do them on their own. This book makes grammar enjoyable.

The Great Editing Adventure Series by Common Sense Press
Great for grammar review and improving editing skills. Use this for a "Sentence For The Day" in which the children must carefully look for errors in the sentence that they need to correct. 

Mad libs are a fun way to learn and reinforce basic grammar skills, such as nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. These booklets are inexpensive and the children love doing them with each other.


Choose words from any of the books you are using. Pick words that you would like your child to know the meaning of or what they are or stand for. These words can also be used for your spelling words.

Using the vocabulary words below, have your student look up at least one or two each day in the dictionary and write them in a vocabulary notebook along with their definition:




At the beginning of each week put together a list of 10 - 20 spelling words that you find in the weekly reading, such as from the lessons, the readers or the writing assignments. Also use any words that your child misspelled in any of their lessons.

Each day of the week your child should use the spelling list in some way. Below is an example of what you can have your child do:

Day 1 - Copy the spelling list onto paper
Day 2 - Write each spelling word in a short sentence
Day 3 - Put the spelling words in alphabetical order
Day 4 - Copy the spelling list again using their best cursive
Day 5 - Test time. Say each word to your child. When done have them spell out loud each word, as they wrote it, back to you.

You can reuse the misspelled words in the next or a following weeks spelling list. Or have child write the misspelled words three times.

Books to use:
History of Art for Young People - H. W. Janson (see review on right)
Egyptian Designs- Dover Press (review on left)
Coloring Book of Ancient Egypt - Bellerophon 
Drawing History: Ancient Egypt -  Raphael & Bolognese

For Ancient Egyptian art appreciation you want to spend a little time, preferrably on the same day you have designated to crafts, learning about the following styles of art. Pick one subject each week and look at pictures of it and read about it.

Bust of Nefertiti
King Tut's Burial Mask
Profile Art
Subtractive sculpturing
Egyptian Jewelry

Some weeks you can make the art appreciation topic coincide with the craft project. For example:


For Art - look at pictures of pyramids and read about.

For Crafts - Build a pyramid *Sphinx For Art - look at pictures and read about
For Crafts - Make a model sphinx out of clay ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Video to use:
Verdi- Aida - The Metropolitan Opera
This is perfect for music appreciation. Aida is an opera of an Ancient Egyptian love story set during the war with Ethiopia (there is an excellent review on Gavins Egyptomania Pages website). Every child needs to be exposed to an opera at least once and this particular version of Aida is the best choice. I enjoyed watching this opera and my boys, who were 11 and 13 at the time, actually enjoyed it, too! 

Book to use:
The Gift of Music, Great Composers and Their Influence by Jane Stuart Smith. (review on right)
If you watch Aida be sure to read about Giuseppe Verdi, the composer of Aida, in chapter 15 of this book. 

Audio to use:
Recordings of Giuseppe Verdi
Any Classical Music Recordings
During lesson times have classical music playing quietly in the background. This is a nice subtle way to expose your children to classical music. Plus I read about a study that showed children had better math scores when doing their math lessons while listening to classical music!

Wesbite article with music information to use:
Egyptian Influence on Music by Anne Midgley
This article, on Gavins Egyptomania Pages, discusses ancient Egyptian musical instruments, the history of Aida and Egyptian influences on modern music.


Books to use:
Ancient Egypt (Make It Work!)-see review on the left which lists some of the projects found in this book.
The Usborne Book of World History - references are made below to pages in this book that have pictures and directions for certain crafts and projects.

Hands-on projects are a must when doing a unit study! Not only does it reinforce what is being learned but it encourages long term retention. 

Choose at least one per week from the following list. You can coincide the craft project to match your art appreciation subject and even the history topic of the week.

Build a model pyramid using sugar cubes. Sugar cubes are great for simulating the cubes of granite and limestone that were actually used.

Mummify a doll  - Tear thin strips from an old sheet. Dip each strip in water just before you use it to wrap on the doll. The water helps to simulate the preserving liquids that were actually used by the embalmers, plus it makes the strips more form fitting and easier to apply to the doll.  Be sure to read Mummies Made In Egypt by Aliki the same day or week you do this project. 

Make a Sarcophagus to put the mummified doll into. Use a shoe box that is big enough, cover with brown paper grocery bag and then decorate with Egyptian symbols (lots of symbols can be found in Egyptian Designs). Paint a funeral mask on the top of the lid.

Make a Water Clock - Find directions in The Everyday Science Sourcebook : Ideas for Teaching in the Elementary and Middle Schools  Activity 632.08. Also, directions for a simple one can be found on page 39 in The Usborne Book of World History.

Make a Sphinx out of self-hardening clay.

Make a model Shaduf - The Egyptians used this to irrigate their fields. Directions for one is on page 53 in The Usborne Book of World History.

Hieroglyphs - Have children write their name using Hieroglyphics. (see Fun with Hieroglyphs) They can also write a riddle or joke (kids love jokes!)

Make a Frescoe - A frescoe is a picture painted on the plaster of a wall while the plaster is still damp. Many egyptian houses and palaces were decorated with frescoes. Directions and example on pg.24 in The Usborne Book of World History.

Double Crown of Egypt -Use red and white construction paper to make this crown (a picture of the crown can be found in Ancient Egypt (Make It Work!).

Make paper - Make paper to write heiroglyphics on. Then roll up like a scroll and tie shut with raffia. (Paper making directions here)

Make and play a Senet Game -Directions and rules for a Senet Game can be found in Ancient Egypt (Make It Work!).

Make Bricks with your feet - During the time of Moses, the Israelites, as slaves, spent their days pounding out bricks for the Egyptians with their feet. Dig a pit, fill with water, dirt and straw. Then, with bare feet, stomp and stomp in the mud until mixed well.  Form the mud into bricks and set in the sun to dry.

Make a Timeline - Put all the people and events that you learn about on a timeline. Tape pages of large art paper together, side by side, down your hallway. Space the dates about 100 years every 12 inches. Write dates in pencil incase you need to adjust later. Children can draw and label pictures of the people, events, creations, buildings, etc. next to the appropriate dateline.

Dress up like an Egyptian & put black kohl lines around eyes. Make a black wig out of curled strips of black construction paper. (directions for a wig, how to put on the eye make up, clothing, jewelry and even Pharoah's false beard are in Ancient Egypt (Make It Work! ) Do this the same week that you study Egyptian family life.

Prepare a meal - Have children plan and prepare an Egyptian style meal to serve to the family. Some food ideas are:



Here are some recipes:
Egyptian Bread
Fig Balls
Date Cakes

Plan an Egyptian Banquet - This is a great way to end the unit study. Have children plan the menu and make the food. They should dress up, too. Some food ideas are listed above and recipes are here.


Be sure to play games throughout the length of the unit.

Knucklebones- This is the Egyptian form of jacks. The Egyptians used sheep toe bones (the phalanx bones).

Senet Game by Northwest Corner
Or make your own Senet game.

Pyramids & Mummies - by Aristoplay Games

Sphinx - by Ravensburger Games


Websites on Ancient Egypt
Use these websites for research projects, photographs, activities, products and general information. A couple sites have fun, interactive activities for children and lesson plan ideas.

If you have a favorite Egypt site that is not listed below, please tell me about it so I can add it to the list.

Mr. Donn's Ancient History
Find lesson plans, units, activities and a long list of educational websites.

The Ancient Egypt Site
This site was created by an Egyptologist. You can explore more than 3,000 years of Ancient Egyptian history, starting with the end of  prehistory at around 3.000 BC to the closing of the last Egyptian temple in  535/537 A.D. A time-line helps you navigate through history and discover the formidable Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Also has a section on the languages of Ancient Egypt and more.

Gayer-Anderson Scarab Collection in the Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum's Egyptian scarab collection contains over 1300 beetle-back scarab amulets and seals. This collection was assembled by the Englishman Major R. G. Gayer-Anderson between 1907 and 1917 in Egypt, loaned to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford from 1917 to 1925, and sold in 1927 to Portland's well-known architect and then president of the museum's Board of Trustees, Albert. E. Doyle. In 1929, a year after Doyle's death, the museum received the collection as a donation in his memory.

Gavins Egyptomania Pages
Lots of color photos, including photos of Egypt today. This site is filled with information.

Neferchichi's Tomb
This is a cute site hosted by an Egyptian Chihuahua! Lots of fun stuff to do like Egyptian Mad Libs, 3-D pictures, postcards, fonts, screensavers to download, lesson plans, games, books to purchase and more.

Tutankhamun Boy King
Lots of information on King Tut and other Egyptian history.

NOVA Online- Pyramids, The Inside Story
At this website you can wander through the chambers and passageways of the Great Pyramid, and learn about the pharaohs for whom these monumental tombs were built. You can also follow the 1997 field season of a team of archaeologists as they excavated the bakery that fed the pyramid builders.

Egypt's Official Site of the Ministry of Tourism
This is the site to visit if you are thinking of traveling to Egypt. Go here to read feature stories, get a travel guide, recipes, calendar of events and more.

Absolute Egyptology  (from Sweden) 
Contains extensive text and more than 1,000 illustrations. A whole section deals with religion and has pictures of 78 gods.  Many teachers who enter my guestbook ask for permission to use my material, and I always say: "For noncommercial use - please do!"


Optional Resources

*The Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Egypt
Greenleaf Press (see Homeschool Links page-General Curriculum) has 
a catalog that is divided into historical units. They have written guides for each of the Ancient historical time periods, including Egypt. This guide is divided into 10 lessons and includes biographies, vocabulary words, reading guidelines, historical information, timeline, and more. 

*Ancient Civilizations & The Bible - Volume one

*What in the World's Going on Here? (4 tapes)  Both by Diana Waring
Diana has a way of making history come alive! She's a wonderful storyteller and has recorded her world history seminars on tape. Her Ancient Civilizations book is a supplemental study guide to the tapes. Volume One covers Creation through the time of Christ. These materials are Christian based and correlates historical facts with Biblical facts. After listening to the tapes, use the discussion questions to reinforce what your children heard. The book also contains research ideas, timeline info, mapping guidelines, projects and more!


Activity Books
Activity books are nice to have for those days when the children are sick, mom is sick, or when the daily school schedule is not working out!  During family reading time you can use the coloring books to keep the younger children busy while you read. Some children, the hand's on type learner (kinesthetic learner's) actually learn better when doing something while they listen.

The Ancient Egyptians Activity Book - Lise Manniche
Coloring Book of Ancient Egypt - Bellerophon
Coloring Book of Tut-ankh-amun - Bellerophon
Make This Egyptian Temple - Usborne Publishing
Egyptian Punch-Out Mummy Case  - Dover Press
Ancient Egyptian Design Coloring Book by Ed, Jr. Sibbett

Recipes for the Unit Study 

Craft Projects

Salt Dough Mixture
Self-hardening Modeling Clay
Homemade Paper
Basic Weekly Schedule
Salt Dough Mixture
Great for making contour maps

Mix thoroughly till blended:

1 part salt
1 part whole wheat flour Next add: 2/3 part water - add slowly and just enough to make mixture the consistency of a thick icing Stir thoroughly.
You can add food coloring to this mixture or paint map when it is dry using poster paints or acrylics.

How to make a contour map:
On a thin piece of plywood or thick cardboard, take a crayon and draw the outline of your map. Spread the Salt Dough mixture inside the outline, just covering the crayon line. Keep the dough thickness approximately 1/2" thick for quick even drying. Add globs of dough to form mountains, hills and valleys. Use a toothpick to help shape in rivers.

Map should be dry in about 1 or 2 days, depending on how thick you made it. Once dry you can paint it. If an ocean or sea borders part of your map then paint the plywood or cardboard blue.  

Self-Hardening Modeling Clay

3/4 cup flour (use any kind except for self-rising flour)

1/2 cup salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tsp. powdered alum
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
food coloring

1. Combine flour, salt, and alum in a mixing bowl. 

2. Add vegetable oil and boiling water. Stir vigorously with a spoon until well blended. Dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl and should be cool enough to handle. 

3. Add food coloring and knead into dough until color is well blended and the dough is the desired tint. 

Makes about 1 cup. Double the recipe for large projects. For groups, mix several double recipes rather then one large amount. 

How to Use it: This is an excellent play dough. It has a smooth texture, takes about 15 minutes to make, and dries to a hard finish overnight. Use it to make animals and other figures. Store in a jar with a tight lid. Dough will keep several months without refrigeration. 

Homemade Paper

Materials you will need:
Newspaper torn into small squares
White glue
electic blender
old panty hose or screen
coat hanger
electic iron

food coloring
dryer lint
flower petals
wood picture frame (if using screen)

Work area can be the kitchen sink or a large plastic shallow bucket

Prepare frame:
Using panty hose -
Leaving the coat hanger attached, shape into a flat square about 6 by 6 inches. Stretch one leg of the panty hose over it. Using a twisty tie or rubber band, secure the hose tightly near the hooked end of the coat hanger. Make sure panty hose is tight and flat. Prepare a couple of these as you will need one for each piece of paper you plan to make.

Using screen -
Using a wooden picture frame, stretch the screen, tight and flat, and staple to the frame. Use any size frame and make several if making more than one piece of paper.

How to make the paper:
Put a handful of the paper and some water into the blender. Close the lid and turn it on high. Keep adding paper and water until you have a big gray blob. You may have to add a little more water to keep things moving smoothly. Keep the blender on until all the paper has become mush. Then leave blender on for 2 whole minutes. 

Put at least 2 tablespoons of glue in the kitchen sink or bucket that is filled with about 4 inches of water and add all of the paper pulp you just made. Mix it really well, using your hands. 

Quickly scoop the frame to the bottom of the sink.  Then lift it real slow.  Let the water drain out for about a minute. You can keep making paper until the pulp is all strained out of the sink. Stir the paper pulp in the sink every time you make a new piece.

Now you have to hang the frames out in the sun to dry. Use the clothes hanger hook to easily hook the frame over the clothesline. Wait until completely dry with no dampness at all. You can then gently peel off the paper. Then, using an iron on the hottest steam setting, press and steam out your paper.

For variety try adding food coloring, dryer lint, leaves or flower petals to the paper pulp while in the blender. Or apply whole pressed flowers and leaves decoratively onto the paper when it is wet.

Use your paper to make cards or gift paper to send to your friends.

Ancient Egypt Unit Study Recipes

Egyptian Bread

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Cups Barley Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Cups Warm Water

To make:
*Mix flours and salt together.
*Add water till it makes a firm dough.
*Knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
*Shape into 6" round loaves.
*Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes.

Note: This bread is hard and chewy, but that is the way the Egyptians ate it! If you like you can add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice when adding the water. Lemon juice softens the gluten and will help make the bread softer.

Fig Balls

A dessert fit for a Pharaoh!

1 Cup Almonds
1/2 Cup Walnuts
6 Fresh Figs
1 tsp. Cardamom
1/4 Cup warm water
1/4 Honey

To make:
*Grind or finely chop the almonds and walnuts, reserving 1/2 of the ground almonds for later.
*Coarsely chop the figs, discarding the stem end.
*Put figs, 1/2 the almonds, walnuts, cardamom and water into a blender. Blend together, adding a bit more water if too sticky.
*With greased hands, roll the mixture into small balls.
*Roll the balls in the honey then roll in the reserved ground almonds.

Note: If dough is too wet to roll into balls, let it sit for a half hour or more until tacky enough to roll in the remaining almonds.


Date Cakes

1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 Cup Butter or Margerine
1 egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Chopped Dates
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts

To make:
*Mix dry ingredients thoroughly.
*With a pastry blended or fork, mix in the butter until fine and crumbly.
*Beat egg, vanilla and milk together.
*Add to dry ingredients and mix slowly and just till dry ingredients are wet.
*Then, fold in the dates and nuts.
*Spread into a greased 8" x 8" baking dish and bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.
*Cut while warm into squares.
*Optional: Dust squares with powdered sugar.

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