Ancient Egypt: Week 4

Welcome to your last week of Level 3: Ancient Egypt! 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. But most importantly? Follow your child’s lead—and have fun! 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):

Optional additional reading:

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 model Egyptian home:

Hot air, cold air experiment:

  • 2 plastic or glass containers
  • ice
  • balloon
  • 2L plastic soda bottle

DIY bowling game:

Basbousa recipe:

Archaeologist dig:

  • large tub or kiddie pool (alternatively, you could prepare your dig in the ground if you have the space)
  • dirt
  • terracotta pot (these are expensive online but can be purchased cheaply at a hardward or garden store)
  • permanent markers
  • spoons, shovels, paint brushes
  • painter’s or masking tape
  • sticky notes
  • hot glue gun + glue (you can use regular glue, but it will take longer to dry)

Optional for game schooling:

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!

Lesson 1:

Today will be all about daily life in Egypt. Would you want to live like an ancient Egyptian?

Activity 1: Read + Discuss. Today, let’s read pages 138-139 from the Usborne World History book to learn more about daily life at home. Next, read the article “Work Like an Egyptian” on pages 20-21 of the Horrible Histories magazine.

When reading, be sure to make good use of the text to discuss vocabulary. For example, in the comic, discuss the word “idle.” What does it mean? Notice that it’s spelled differently than idol. When two words sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings, it’s called homophone. Here are more examples if you want to have a language arts lesson to either learn or review homophones.

Lesson 2:

Activity 1: Read + Discover. How did non-royal ancient Egyptians live? Read this post to learn more. (Don’t watch the video, it doesn’t apply.)

Activity 2: Build a model home. Do a Google search for “ancient Egyptian homes images.” Once you have learned about different kinds of simple homes from our reading and have seen images of these homes on the internet, decide which type of home your child wants to build. Start by drawing out the design on paper first. Then, using modeling clay and cardboard, build a model home. Alternatively, they could build it with LEGOs or on Minecraft. 

Activity 3: Science application. Did you notice that some of the homes had two floors? What was the advantage of having a lower floor? It was cooler and food could be stored there for longer. Let’s find the scientific reason why this happened. This experiment will demonstrate that hot air rises and cool air settles to the bottom. (Note: Desipte what the post says, we had better results when we heated the water. Make sure you’re using a tall carafe or container.) Why does this happen? Read this post to find the answer.

Lesson 3:

Life wasn’t all hard work for ancient Egyptians. Today, we’ll examine some of the sports and games that kept them entertained.

Activity 1: Research. How did the Egyptians play? Read about their games in the Usborne World History interactive links and see photos of ancient toys and games. Read this post to learn about a game invented by the ancient Egyptians that we still play today – bowling

Activity 2: Make your own version of this game to play at home.

Lesson 4:

Activity 1: Food History. Read this post for a history of our next Egyptian dessert: basbousa. 

Activity 2: Bake this basbousa recipe. As you bake, try the math application below.

Activity 3: Math application. Here are a few things to try to get their math skills working:

  • When following a recipe, we can list the order we do things by using ordinal numbers (i.e. first, second, third, etc.). As you go through the steps, instead of saying “step one,” say “first step.” Use ordinal numbers throughout the process. By doing this, you will review ordinal numbers 1-14.  
  • Let’s learn a new math word! What is a quadrilateral? It’s a shape with four sides. Here are some examples of quadrilaterals. Which ones does your know? For this recipe, the directions say to use a circle pan. That is not a quadrilateral because there are no corners in a circle. 
  • Dividing our dessert into portions. Into how many pieces will you be able to cut your dessert? Using your fraction manipulatives and index cards, play and practice writing fraction forms.
    •  4 huge portions (fourths) , 8 large portions (eights), or 16 (sixteenths) small portions.
  • Let’s add and subtract fractions with common denominators. You can use your dessert as your manipulative. If you cut your dessert into 8 equal pieces, each piece is ⅛ of the whole pie. If the grownup and the child each get a piece (⅛ + ⅛) you will have served 2/8 of your dessert. How many would be left for the rest of the family? 8/8 – 2/8 = ? 
  • While the dessert bakes, read aloud the book Fractions in Disguise for more fraction fun. Let’s now try practicing comparing fractions. Once you have finished baking your dessert, it will need to be cut to be shared with family and friends. If the grownup wants ⅜ of the dessert and the child wants ¾ of the dessert, who will get a bigger piece? Here’s a video to help you understand this process and explain it to your child.
Lesson 5:

For our final day, let’s dig into some archaeology. ⛏️⛏️⛏️ (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves!)

Activity 1:  What is an archaeologist? What is an artifact? 

Archaeologists are the scientists who study artifacts, or man-made objects that people have left behind in history. Archaeologists are like detectives. By looking at artifacts, they try to figure out how long ago people lived; how they governed themselves; what art they created; their religious beliefs; their technology, science, and invention; and their daily life. Clues archaeologists use to answer these and other questions about past civilizations can sometimes be found in the artifacts they dig up. 

While looking for artifacts to study, archaeologists can find themselves in some very dangerous situations. Archaeologists have explored ruins deep in jungles, dug up remains of villages in dangerous deserts, and have even searched underwater! But archaeologists are so curious about the past, they they are willing to brave the dangers of poisonous animals and plants, of unclean conditions, or an unfriendly political climate, to discover more about human life through the study of artifacts. [source]

Optional reading: Archaeologists Dig for Clues

Activity 2: Archeology Dig. Plan a homemade ancient Egyptian dig. Your child will learn how an archaeologist discovers artifacts. Use “archaeologist tools,” such as small shovels, spoons, and paintbrushes in your homemade dig. Here’s your inspiration.

Preparing your dig: Begin by decorating a terracotta pot in hieroglyphics or Egyptian drawings using permanent markers. Next, smash it! 🔨 (But not too hard, or your pieces will be too small.) Be sure to use protective goggles and wrap your pot in a cloth to protect your body and eyes from broken pieces. Finally, place the pieces in a prepared space. You can use a large plastic tub or child’s pool. Add dirt or soil to the bin to cover the broken pieces. 

Get to work: Grid your working space with painter’s tape so you can identify where each piece is found. Label each quadrant with a sticky note.

On a piece of paper, draw your dig area and graph and label your quadrants to match your site. List and/or draw your finds from your dig onto your paper, including details like a description of the artifact, its color, any special markings, material, and measurements. Since most of the pieces are small, use the metric system (centimeters) to measure each fragment.  

Once you have found all the pieces, carefully glue them back together again.

Activity 3: Creative writing.  Archaeologists also make observations about ancient people based on their finds. Ask your child to write a story about the family who possessed their ancient artifact. Include details about the family and why the pot was broken. Were they caught in a dust storm and had to flee? Did they move suddenly because of famine? Did they lose it in the field while they picked grain? Did an animal knock it out of their hand? Anything goes with free creative writing, so let them have fun with this!
(+) Want more? Try this writing prompt.

Optional field trip: Planning a road trip? Check here for local digs to visit. You could also visit a Natural History Museum with artifacts from ancient Egypt.

Optional additional activity: Have you every tried gameschooling? This week, introduce the game Professor’s Noggin’s Ancient Civilizations Trivia Card Game . We will learn about several ancient civilizations this year, so this game can be used all year long. Pull out the cards about Egypt to start playing and learning together.

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Published by learnandliveletter

The Learn + Live Letter is a play- and project-based homeschool curriculum for children ages 3-11.

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