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.
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.