Welcome to week two of Ancient Egypt! This week we will explore the ancient gods of Egypt. We will do some serious tomb building, mask making, and cookie baking. Lessons will also include purposeful creative writing and math applications. Artists will enjoy learning to draw Egyptian art and comic strips. Want to track your progress along the way? Download our skills and books tracker here for your records.
What you need:
Books (find at your local library or order below on Amazon):
- The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History by Jane Bingham
- DK Findout! Ancient Egypt
- (-) Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book About Ancient Egypt by Gail Gibbons (or you can read it on OpenLibrary here)
- You Wouldn’t Want to Be Tutankhamen! by David Stewart
Optional additional reading:
- Ancient Egypt Drawing Book by Ralph Masiello (recommended for students who love art!)
Supplies (use what you have, but here are links to shop if you need anything):
Note: We break down our supply list by so you can choose what you need based on which lessons you plan to do with your child.
Creative writing activity:
- paper + access to a printer (don’t have one? we like this model)
- paper cutter (optional)
- laminator + laminator sheets (optional, but useful for repeating lessons)
- shoe box
- brown construction paper for decorating the walls (or you could do an internet search and print out pictures of hieroglyphics for the walls—students might enjoy using the Ancient Egypt Drawing Book for inspiration!)
- colored pencils
- playdough or modeling clay (to make tables and jars)
- gold spray paint (may be cheaper at a local craft store)
- hot glue or craft glue
- sarcophagus template
- ingredients for this recipe
- gold spray paint (may be cheaper at a local craft store)
- blue paint and paint brush
- toilet paper roll
- bubble wrap (you only need about 1 square foot, or you can use glitter glue)
- scrap cardboard
What to do:
For our Level 3 lessons, consider this guide a framework for your school week. Want to finish all your activities in three days and enjoy a long weekend? Go for it! Prefer to pace yourself and tackle one lesson per day? You’re the boss of your homeschool—do what works best for your family! We also strongly recommend reading through all of the lessons before you begin your week so you can determine which activities you’ll complete and which supplies you will need. We recommend doing the below lessons in this order to build on each skill your child will develop, but don’t feel that you *need* to do them in this order. Do what works for you and your child. If they love an activity, feel free to repeat! Not a winner? Skip and try the next thing. Have fun!
Our second week of ancient Egypt will focus on one of the most important elements of an ancient Egyptians lives: temples and gods!
Activity 1: Read + Discuss. Examine the text and the pictures from Usborne World History pages 136-137. Next, read pages 28 and 29 of the DK Findout! Ancient Egypt book. Discuss the pictures and details.
As you discuss, we encourage you to ask your child open-ended questions that will lead to great conversations. Here are some to get you started:
After reading the text from page 136, paragraph 1, look at the pictures of the gods and goddesses worshipped in Egypt. Do you notice anything interesting or different about their faces? (Possible answer: Some have faces of people, others have animal faces.)
Activity 2: Take a closer look at the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. Start by reading this website together. Once you’ve read the post, be sure to have your child play the interactive game to learn more about each individual god.
Activity 1: Creative writing assignment – create a story of any kind that includes the Egyptian gods as characters. If your child prefers art, try illustrating a cartoon, a comic strip, or picture. Once you’ve created a god, name him or her. Give them characteristics, jobs, and a backstory—let your child get as detailed as they want to!
Activity 3: Learn the Ancient Egyptian number system. They made great contributions to modern mathematics. They discovered decimals, fractions, the number zero, negative numbers and even the value of Pi. They had an understanding of solid geometry and used it in their construction. The ancient Egyptian number system was composed of 7 symbols – a single stroke, a heel bone (upside-down smile), a coil of rope, a lotus plant, a finger, a frog, and a kneeling god. With these 7 symbols, the clever Egyptians could add, subtract, multiple, and divide and count into the many millions! They even created a system of algebra, which helped them build the pyramids. (source)
Play this math game to do math like an Ancient Egyptian.
(-)Alternatively you can also read the book Mummies, Pyramids and Pharaohs. Read the pages about death ceremonies and burials to introduce the topic of tombs.
Next, create the walls using brown paper or printed images and glue them to the inner walls of your box. Make a paper sarcophagus using this template and add it to your tomb.
Activity 2: Now it’s time to fill your tomb with items fit for a pharaoh! Make mini versions of these canopic jars out of modeling clay or playdough and spray paint them gold. Finally, add food and other desired items to your tomb.
Activity 1: Food History. Our recipe comes from this blogger who gives us a little history on this ancient ingredient. Read this ahead of time and share a few facts with your child. Here are the highlights:
- Anise (pronounced “ann-iss”) has been cultivated in Egypt for at least 4,000 years.
- It grows around the Mediterranean area and is part of the cuisine of several countries, including Lavantine, Greece, Turkey, Italy, and France.
- It can be made into a liquor similar to moonshine called zibib (pronounced “zuh-beeb”).
- Anise is used for medicinal purposes and helps with bloating and digestion or to help mothers produce more milk. It can also be used to calm muscle spasms.
- It can be made into a tea called Yansoon.
- Anise wasn’t used in baking until Egypt became part of the Roman Empire in around 30 B.C.
Activity 2: Anise cookies. Now that we know more about our special ingredient, let’s bake this recipe!
Activity 3: Math application. As you bake, try the below activities and word problems. Remember, your child may not be able to do all of these word problems yet. Meet them where they are and introduce a new concept only after they have grasped the previous one.
- Play with rows and columns as you space out the cookies on the pan. (You may want to watch this simple video about partitioning a rectangle to help make the connections.)
- Practice simple addition with a word problem: Grandpa wants to buy 3 cookies, Grandma wants to buy 5 cookies, and Auntie wants to buy 2 cookies. How many will you have to bake so they can all have enough?
- Practice multiplication with a word problem: Pretend you are going to sell your cookies for $2 each. If you make 8 cookies, how much money will you make if you sell them all? What if you make 9 cookies? 12 cookies? 15 cookies? Change the price of the cookie for more of a challenge. For example, what if they cookies cost $2.50 each?
- Practice division with a word problem: (Tip: Practice this after you have finished baking so you can use your cookies as manipulatives.) Our recipe says we should be able to make 15 cookies, so let’s assume that is how many cookies you will have. If you want to earn $45 to buy a game, how much will each cookie need to sell for? Set up a number sentence first ($45÷15=x).
- Practice long division with this word problem: You have baked 15 cookies. You plan to sell each cookie for $2.50. Great! You made $45. But you want to earn $1,687.50. How many cookies will you have to bake if that was your goal? (Answer: 675) A lot!!
Activity 1: Read + Discuss. Read DK Findout! pages 12 and 13 to learn about ancient Pharaohs.
Additional reading: You Wouldn’t Want to be Tutankhamen
Next, we’ll make our own pharaoh death mask inspired by this craft.
Begin by cutting cardboard into the shape of the sides of the death mask. Use hot glue to attach them to the mask.
Next, wrap the toilet paper roll with bubble wrap and attach it to the mask with hot glue. (Alternatively, you can decorate the toilet paper roll with glitter glue after it is spray painted.)
Spray paint the entire mask gold, and then paint blue lines to finish decorating the mask.
Activity 2: Learn to draw King Tut with this art lesson.
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