Learning objectives

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History Scheme of Work

Subject: History

Year: Two

Timescale: Autumn and Easter terms (taught on alternate weeks)

Unit of study: Ancient Egypt



Pupils should know:

Egypt is in Africa and it’s capital is Cairo.

The River Nile runs through Egypt and it is the longest river in the world.

The pyramids were built as tombs for Egyptian kings and queens. They were square based.

Hieroglyphs were a collection of symbols that were used for communication.

The Egyptians used to trade by means of barter, which means swapping one item/s for another.

A general overview of the processes of mummification.

The Egyptians believed in an ‘afterlife’ – life continuing after death.

Tutunkhumun was a boy king and Cleopatra and Nefertiti were queens.


Pupils should be able to:

Place Egypt on a map of the world.

Decode simple hieroglyphs from a key.

Sequence the processes involved in mummification.

Explain the purpose of the pyramids and their contents.

Research information from books and the internet.

Describe a variety of Egyptian housing (exterior and interior).

Understand differing points of view.

Describe what the Egyptians would have worn.

Compare elements from daily life in Egypt to their comparatives from the prehistoric period.


Pupils should understand:

Ancient Egypt existed an extremely long time ago and the country was incredibly advanced for its time.

There was no electricity, gas or mechanisation in Ancient Egypt and people relied on the river, animals and themselves for transportation.

Food was different in Ancient Egypt due to reliance on the natural surroundings.

Life in Egypt depended on farming, which was based around the flooding of the Nile.

The need for bartering in order to survive in Ancient Egypt.

Suggested Activities and Cross-Curricular Links

  • Timeline. Make timeline around the classroom to display the vast gap between Ancient Egypt and today.

  • Map work. Completion of map by colouring seas, river Nile and desert areas as well as main towns and the capital.

  • Hieroglyphs. Decoding of simple 6 letter words. Pupils devise their own hieroglyphic alphabet and write names / messages in code to be decoded by class mates.

  • Mummification. Sequencing of mummification. Making mummies from clay and wrapping in bandaging strips. Place mummies in casket made from the net of a hexagonal prism (link to maths shape work / D.T.).

  • Pharoahs. Tell stories of Tutankhamen and Cleopatra (link to English work). Show that monarch-like pharaohs ruled Egypt. Drama: friezes displaying elements from the lives of the pharaohs.

  • Pyramids. Discuss and investigate what they were for and how they were made. Make using square-based pyramid net (link to maths shape work).

  • Houses. Research a variety of houses from simple to extravagant. Design their own Egyptian home (from structured sheet).

  • Transport. What transport do we have that Egyptians did not? What transport did Egyptians have? Importance of the Nile and reed boats. Make reed boats using art straws and sellotape.

  • Food. Research into sorts of foods the Egyptians ate. Make ‘honey-covered figs’ to try.

  • Farming. Show how Egyptian farming was closely tied to the flooding of the Nile. Sequence stages in the farming calendar to create a ‘farming wheel’.

  • Clothing. Show examples of clothes and discuss poor clothing / rich clothing. Focus on jewellery. Children research amulets and design their own along with neckwear and head-dresses. (Link to Art)

  • Bartering. Divide class into pairs. Each pair ‘owns’ an item required for sandwich e.g. bread, butter, knife etc. The pair of children take it in turns to barter with their goods until each child has all necessary items needed to make his sandwich. “Why was bartering / trading essential in Ancient Egypt?” follow up.

  • Aswan Dam. Pupils use clay and pebbles to construct a dam in a deep tray. Water is then poured onto one side of the dam. (Link to science: fair testing and D.T.)

  • Compare life of people in Ancient Egypt to that of humans in prehistoric times (shelter, food, clothing and lifestyle). Chart differences, as well as similarities. Possible display showing a character from each time, children label differences and similarities.

  • Use of a variety of Egyptian stories in English. Use mythological stories, stories about specific characters from Ancient Egypt and about modern day ‘detectives’ researching Ancient Egypt (e.g. Howard Carter).

Suggested Extension Activities

  • Map work. Add detail to map of Egypt: eg symbols to represent the Sphinx, pyramids & Aswan Dam (link geography).

  • Mummification. Designing lid for mummies’ casket and a death mask for their mummy (link to art).

  • Pyramids. Make Egyptian scene by sticking different sized pyramids onto sandpaper. Add other items to complete.

  • Pyramids – discuss variety of opinions as to how the pyramids were constructed (one large mile long ramp, spiral external ramp, recent theory of an internal ramp). Which method do the children consider to be the most likely?

  • Houses. List similarities and differences between Egyptian house designed and modern day houses.

  • Howard Carter. Look into how the burial chamber for Tutunkhumun was uncovered by the archaeologist Howard Carter. Ongoing extension project?


BBC Video series.

Various art materials.

Timeline for classroom.

Variety of non-ficton books related to topic, e.g.:

The Ancient Egyptians: Shutter, Jane

Pharaohs and Pyramids: Allan, Tony

Egyptian Life: Guy, John

I wonder why (series) Pyramids were built? Steele, Philip

Variety of story books relating to Ancient Egypt, e.g. Stories from Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Myths and Legends for Children: Joyce Tyldesley.

DeAgostini Publication including artefacts

Prim-Ed History KS2 – photocopiable w/s

I.C.T. – Websites







Possible trip to the British museum – focus on mummification.

Summary of Learning Outcomes

Most pupils will gain a general perception of what life was like in Ancient Egypt and be able to describe the elements studied with some detail.

Some pupils will have progressed further and be able to describe elements of Egyptian life citing specific evidence to justify their descriptions and opinions. They will use independent research to further their understanding of Egyptian life.
Some pupils will have made less progress but will be able to give general descriptions for most of the elements of Egyptian life studied.

October 2009 Matthew Vernon

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