Welcome to week three of Level 3: Ancient Egypt! This week we will explore the famous pyramids and the pharaohs that found their final resting place in these architectural marvels. Don’t forget to download our printable tracking document to keep track of the books you read and skills you work on.
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)
Additional reading options:
- You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pyramid Builder by Jacqueline Morley
- You Wouldn’t Want to Be an Egyptian Mummy by David Stewart
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.
Build a pyramid activity:
Or, if you already have them, you can use:
- LEGOs or Minecraft
Mummified apple experiment:
- 10 apple slices
- baking soda
- 10 plastic cups + plastic cling wrap (or small jars with lids)
- printer + paper
Mummified doll activity:
- Barbie doll (or similarly sized plastic doll)
- 1 cup flour
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup liquid glue
- gauze or white cloth
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- 1/4 cup cracked wheat bran
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- index cards
- cooking scale
- fraction circles
What to do:
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!
Activity 1: Read + Discuss: To start our week, we’ll look at an architectural structure that originated in ancient times but can still be found today. Read this website to learn about the obelisk. You can also see a picture of one in your DK Findout! book pages 30 and 31.
Activity 2: Look at modern-day obelisks found around the world. Discuss the difference between a true obelisk and the Washington Monument.
- Cleopatra’s Needle
- Luxor Obelisk
- St. Peter’s Square
- Washington Monument
- Or this blog post with 10 famous obelisks
Activity 3: Let’s do some silly story telling! Have your child draw an obelisk on a sheet of paper. Next, have them “write” an imaginary pharaoh story on the structure using “hieroglyphics.” Finally, ask them to retell the story to you.
Today is all about one of Egypt’s most identifiable landmarks—the pyramids!
Additional reading: You Wouldn’t Want to be a Pyramid Builder
Activity 2: Build a pyramid. Watch this computer animated pyramid to see all the sides of this geometric shape. It might provide your child with some inspiration! Now, try building your own pyramid with either cardboard (try this tutorial), LEGOs, or on Minecraft.
Ready to unwrap some knowledge? Today is all about mummies.
Additional Reading: You Wouldn’t Want to be an Egyptian Mummy.
Activity 2: Try this virtual mummy activity. Then put all that knowledge to work with these two mummy activities:
Activity 3: The mummified apple experiment.
Stem projects are great ways to learn and apply the scientific method. (Need a refresher on what this is? Read over this link for grownups.) Then, print the free PDF called the Free Science Process Pack at the bottom of the page to conduct today’s experiment.
Experiment Questions: The Egyptians wrapped their dead in linen cloth. We will wrap apples in gauze. Which apple will be preserved best? With gauze or without? Which ingredient will preserve the apples the best?
Review the print-out as you set up your experiment. Encourage your child to do all the gauze cutting (great fine motor skills practice!). You can also ask your child to label each plastic cup with a permanent marker. (This is good writing and spelling practice.) Have them set up the apples and make their guesses. Use the print-out to record their hypotheses.
After a week, come back to your mummy apples and record your findings. Did the apple in salt and wrapped in gauze preserve the best? Good! Ours did, too. The Egyptians were on to something when they preserved the bodies in this way!
Activity 4: Mummified doll project.
Activity 1: Food History. Flatbreads have a rich history in Egypt. Read this blog post together to learn more about its meaning and origins.
Activity 2: Prepare this flatbread recipe along with your child. One of the ingredients is active yeast. Drop down to activity 3 when you begin the recipe to understand what all the foaming and bubbles mean.
(+) Want more of a challenge? Make this falafel recipe next, another dish with origins in ancient Egypt!
Activity 3: Science Application. What is yeast? Watch this video for a great explanation.
Activity 4: Math Application. This recipe requires a lot of proofing (or resting) between steps. Use this time for some fun math application! See how many of these tasks your child can complete—they’ll all strengthen different math skills. (But don’t feel like you need to do them all. Meet your child where they are!) Keep a pencil and a stack of index cards to draw out fractions and do conversion work as you prepare your recipe. These fraction manipulatives will also be helpful when dividing the dough and talking about fractions.
- Discuss how to read the clock and set a timer for your food.
- Converting minutes to seconds. Just for fun, let’s convert the timing of our recipe from minutes to seconds. (Set your cooking timers using minutes.)
- Introduce + strengthen understanding of fractions. This recipe has 1/2 and 1/4 fraction measurements. Use the recipe to teach the concept of parts of a whole. Talk about the difference between the two types of numbers. (You can say something like, “A fraction is part of a whole. If you divide a whole thing evenly, those smaller parts are called fractions.”) Using fraction manipulatives, demonstrate how one whole can be divided into quarters. You can ask, “If we divide our whole circle into quarter pieces, how many quarters will we have?” Ask you child how they would express this concept in written or mathematical form once they understand the manipulatives really well. They might come up with any of the following – “1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 +1/4 = 1 ” or “4 x 1/4=1”. Talk about what top and bottom numbers of a fraction are called (numerators and denominators).
- Many recipes from other countries don’t measure their ingredients in “cups” measurements. Instead, they weigh their ingredients. Using a cooking scale, measure the flour in the recipe (2 ½ cups) and find its weight in grams (metric) and ounces (US units of measurements).
- Divide the lump of dough evenly using a pizza cutter. This is a great way to introduce division and fractions in a fun and realistic way. This would also be a great time to use fraction manipulatives.
Today, we’ll work on creative writing and reading comprehension through some retelling activities.
Activity 1: Writing assignments. There are several ideas in this Newspaper Writing Prompt Ancient Egypt PDF. Give your child all the options and have them pick one that interests them. (Hint: If they are involved in choosing their assignment, they are more likely to enjoy the writing process.)
Alternatively, your child might want to write a comic strip instead of writing paragraphs. Encourage them to draw pictures to attach to their writing!
Note: Remember, have fun with this idea! It doesn’t have to be serious. Does their Pharaoh send a royal decree that everyone must use the river as their latrine? Go with it! Let your child play with their writing.
Activity 2: Have your child share their story with family and friends, or record them telling their story for public speaking practice.
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