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In this Ancient Egypt lesson, students create a personal hieroglyphic tomb wall with artifacts and map


Art, Social Studies  


6, 7  

Title – Ancient Egypt
By – A. Brendle
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Art
Grade Level – 6-7

Unit: Ancient Egypt
Lesson: Geography and Writing System of Ancient Egypt

PA Academic Standards:

  • 8.4.9.B.   Analyze historical documents, material artifacts and historic sites important to world history before 1500.
  • 8.4.9.C  Analyze how continuity and change throughout history has impacted belief systems and religions, commerce and industry, innovations, settlement patterns, social organization, transportation and roles of women before 1500.
  • 8.1.9.B  Analyze and interpret historical sources.

Goal of lesson:

  • To gain an understanding of Ancient Egyptian’s physical make up.
  • To appreciate the importance of the Rosetta stone because it unlocked the secret of the Ancient Egyptian writing system.


  • 13 map worksheet handouts
  • 13 blank pages of computer paper
  • World History: People and Nations text
  • Pencils
  • Notebook paper
  • Computer
  • Projector
  • Screen
  • PowerPoint presentation on hieroglyphics
  • 13 homework sheets
  • 7 Nine Men’s Morris game boards and 75 teal and 75 purple game pieces
  • Banner with my name in hieroglyphics
  • Masking tape

Clerical/Administrative Tasks:

  • Take roll (1 min)
  • Photocopy 15 map worksheets and 15 homework sheets
  • Make game boards and pieces
  • Make banner with name in hieroglyphics

Instructional Objectives:

  • Upon looking at the map of Ancient Egypt in the text, TSWBAT (the student will be able to) fill in the important physical and political characteristics on a map worksheet.
  • After a teacher presentation consisting of lecture, TSWBAT describe the concept of afterlife in Ancient Egyptian society.
  • After reading a short segment in the text dealing with the Rosetta stone, TSWBAT discuss in a small group its importance for 4 minutes.
  • TSWBAT cooperate with group members during the discussion.
  • TSWBAT understand the Ancient Egyptian writing system through a hands-on activity of creating a section of a personal tomb wall.


      Engage: Show Ss (students) a paper with my name in hieroglyphics on it and have students ponder what it says (2 min). Inform class they will find out shortly.
    Transition: Distribute map worksheet on physical and political geography.

Developmental Activities:


        Ss will do the map worksheet based off of map in text on page 22. Major physical and political features will be labeled. Ss will answer the questions dealing with the map. T (teacher) will scan room for class progression and assistance. (9 min)


        Transition: ask rhetorical question about how the desert conditions allowed for preservation of people and artifacts. Then conduct a lecture dealing with Ancient Egyptian religion and afterlife.
        Main points:

        • Major gods and goddess
        • Concept of an afterlife
        • Climate allowed for mummification
        • Elaborate tombs for pharaohs with hieroglyphics on the walls (6 min)


        Transition: Ask how modern people were able to understand these paintings on the tomb walls.

        Then instruct students to read pages 19 and 20 in the text and find out why. (5 min)

        Assign students to 3 person groups. (2 min)

        Groups will discuss the importance of the Rosetta stone. (4 min)

        Have students return to seats. (2 min)


        T will instruct Ss to pretend they are a pharaoh and create a personal tomb wall with their name in hieroglyphics as well items they wish to take with them in the afterlife, and a picture of themselves in Egyptian style. T will give each student a piece of blank computer paper and project alphabet, examples of tomb walls, and list of steps to drawing an Egyptian portrait on the screen via PowerPoint. (15 min)

      If time permits:

        Have students learn and play the simple Ancient Egyptian game of Nine Men’s Morris.

        The game was created in about 1400 BC. The first game board was found in an Ancient Egyptian temple about 600 years ago.

        T will hand out rules of the game and explain them. Ss will pair up with a neighbor. Each pair will receive 1 board and 18 playing pieces (9 of each color).


        Informal assessment: progress on map worksheet and tomb wall activity.
      Formal assessment: the homework sheet will be collected for a homework score.


      Today you have been exposed to a new system of writing that used to be a mystery to all until the finding of the Rosetta stone. Do you appreciate the simplicity of Arabic alphabet now that you have been exposed what the Egyptians used? (2 min)
    Assign Ss homework sheet dealing with gods and goddesses to be completed for the following day for a homework grade. (2 min)

Accommodations/Adaptations for Students with Special Needs (ADHD):

  • Make sure students seat is away from windows and the hallway
  • Use proximity
  • Give student extra eye contact
  • Interact frequently with the student

Technology Integration:

      With one computer (the teachers, with large screen projection):

      T will show a PowerPoint presentation (see ‘Evaluate’ step already in the original lesson) to aid students in creating their own tomb wall. It contains slides showing the hieroglyphics needed for writing Ss names and instructions on how to draw people in the ancient Egyptian style. Also included in the slides are pictures of items found in actual tombs and a tomb wall with writings on it.
      With a class that has a cluster of 6 computers (computer to student ratio of 1:4):

      In the ‘Elaborate’ section, students will be assigned to groups of 4. Each group as a team will search for information about the Rosetta stone on a search engine such as Yahoo. After researching, Ss will return to their seats for a class discussion of each group’s findings.
      With a computer lab available:

    Ss will do the ‘Explore’ activity with a provided map in paint, labeling the important physical feature of Egypt with typed text. Ss can use their texts and/or a software program like Microsoft Encarta Interactive World Atlas. Ss will also complete the activity described for a classroom with 6 computers, except it will be an individual effort followed by class discussion.


      Map of Egypt obtained from:

      Hieroglyphics chart obtained from:

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