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History Lesson Plans; Ancient Egyptians

Y5, Spring Term


Where and When?


That pupils will recognise where the Ancient Egyptian society was located.

That pupils will place this empire into a time frame.


Ask pupils if they know where Egypt is – which continent?

Locate on a map; show on OHP.

Discuss features shown on maps and their possible impact.

  • desert – What do they know? Type of use of land? Likely way of life?

  • River Nile – what might we find here? What will the land be like?

  • coast – what might this mean?

Give out maps. On these, pupils can label Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, River Nile, White Nile, Blue Nile, Giza, Memphis, Thebes, Khartoum, Sakkarah. Colour in Egypt, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, rivers.

Support: less able pupils can have copies of these labels which they can place in position; when these are checked they can then be stuck down.

Show OHP of Ancient Egyptian timeline. Discuss, especially amount of time covered. Compare Egyptian and Greek periods. Make the point that the Ancient Egyptians were the longest continuous civilisation.

Pupils can make a timeline on squared paper; if 7mm paper is used then one square = 200 years is an appropriate scale; colour in the Egyptian period.

Resources: OHP, sheets, maps. (See next page for OHP timeline)

  1. Earliest farming communities.





4000 Farming communities developed. People lived in tribes and established villages.




3200 Tribes united under the first Egyptian king, Menes.



2600 Djoser; Khufu

2400 Chepren



1800 Senusret III


1400 Hatshepsut; Amenhotep; Tutankhamun

1200 Rameses II





200 Alexander the Great

0 Cleopatra






1200 Ancient Greece


1600 Ancient Egypt

1800 Menes Egyptian pharaohs



What do we know?


That pupils will create a “facts pyramid”.

Skills: Enquiry – using sources, ask and answer questions.


Ask pupils what they think they already know about the Ancient Egyptians – to work in small groups and create a brainstorm sheet. Compare facts after 10 minutes, and list on board.

Tell them that they are going to use these facts to create a pyramid. Give out triangles. Tell them they are to choose one piece of information each, and then use the books which are available to check their theory – ie, find evidence. remind pupils of the importance of evidence and give some examples. Choose one statement and check it using available books – talk about using the contents and index to try to find the evidence. When evidence is found, write the fact on the piece of paper, and at the bottom put the book title and page number where your evidence is found. Add a suitable illustration if possible. Cross out the statement on the sheet once it has been proved or disproved. Stress that the fact must be written neatly and spelt correctly, and that the triangle may be used either way up (demonstrate on outline). Then they colour their block in and bring their statement to stick it on the pyramid outline (stick these to resemble the blocks which make up the pyramid – makes an attractive display).


Paper triangles. All textbooks. Library books if available. Glue. Pyramid outline.


Less able pupils may need help reading the information.
Lesson 3: The Nile.


That pupils will understand the importance of the Nile to the Encient Egyptians (knowledge and understanding.)


Look back at the map of Egypt. Ask the pupils what they already know about the river Nile. Tell them that today they will find out the importance of the Nile to the people in the region.

Watch Eureka Ancient Egyptians video 1 if available, or other video source eg Landmarks.

Talk about the Nile’s seasons.

  1. Flooding. The flood waters arrived by the middle of July. The farmers could not work on their land so they worked for the pharaoh, labouring on the pyramids and temples, or improving the irrigation canals beside the river.

  2. Preparing land and planting.

  3. Harvesting.

Pupils draw a circle in their books (use maths templates) and divide this into three, each representing a season of the Egyptian farming year. In each section, they can draw a picture demonstrating the activity, using textbooks for further information if necessary. Round the outside they should write the name of the season.


Provide less able pupils with a predrawn diagram which they can cut out and fill in.


Write an explanation of each season. When did each season begin? What jobs were done during each season? What crops were grown?


Support sheets. TV and video and Eureka video.

Lesson 4: Homes


That the children will learn about the home life of Ancient Egyptians.

That they will find out about hieroglyphics.

That they will use hieroglyphics to write their own names.

Ask pupils if they can think of anywhere in this country where you might see modern hieroglyphics. Explain that hieroglyphics are a sort of sign. Compare with shop signs. Make the link with Ancient Greece work – Egyptians also had a different alphabet, but ours is more closely liked to the Greek system than it is to the Egyptian system.

Give out hieroglyphics sheet – there are a variety available in resource books. Go through the hieroglyphics and see what the children think the pictures are.

Ask them to write their own name in hieroglyphics – they may have to miss out some letters as the Egyptians didn’t have all the same sounds that we do. Do this on tea-stained paper, these can be mounted and pupils can try to identify which one belongs to which pupil.


Hieroglyphics sheet. Tea stained paper.

C. Coster, December 1997

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