Thursday, October 31, 2013

Teaching Egypt in Pictures

It is always fun starting a new unit. I especially love to teach Egypt because there are so many fun activities to do with it. There are also plenty of resources to use when teaching Egypt.   I hooked my students into the unit by passing around books about Egypt and having them write down what looked interesting to them.  We then looked at a map that compared the location of Egypt to Mesopotamia.  It was good for them to see how close the two civilizations were to each other.   To look into the geography of Egypt we spent some time thinking about the benefits of the Nile river. We made our own river in our interactive social studies notebooks.  After studying geography we took a closer look at the daily life of ancient Egyptians.  Here is the book we put together:

The next day we looked into what Egyptians wore.  We made our own necklaces with famous symbols as charms.  We talked about Egyptian art and the meaning of the symbols they used.

Yesterday we learned about schools in Egypt and their writing system.  One activity I did was a class venn diagram to compare ancient Egyptian schools to our school.  This was very easy for them to do but a good visual.  Next year I think I will have my students make a model or picture of what an ancient school would have looked like. 

They really enjoyed writing in hieroglyphics.  Everyone learned how hard it was to decipher messages since the hieroglyphics represented individual syllables.  If I have more time next year I would love for them to make scrolls to put their hieroglyphic message on.
For Halloween we talked about mummification and the Egyptian believe in afterlife.  They were all into this and wanted to know everything about how mummies were made.

I'm only half way through this unit so far.  I'm excited to talk about pyramids and the social class system next.  What activities do you use to teach ancient Egypt?

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