Earliest Civilisations: Ancient Egyptians
The Nile

Learn about the incredible, life-giving River Nile and its impact on civilisation in Egypt. Use the maps and models made in previous sessions to present your learning to visitors.

Session 1 The river

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countrie.
  • Describe and understand key features of rivers.
  • Use maps to locate countries and describe features.

Teaching and Activities

Locate and describe the River Nile; list some of the animals and plants associated with the Nile; in a group create a large scale map of the River Nile in Egypt.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand the vital role of the Nile for the Ancient Egyptians and know that the Ancient Egyptians regarded the river as a god.
  • To locate and describe key features of the River Nile.

Children will:

  • Explain that the Ancient Egyptians settled along the banks of the River Nile.
  • Describe two gods associated with the river and its animals.
  • Locate Egypt and the River Nile on maps.
  • Describe the climate of Egypt.
  • Work as a group to produce a large scale map of Ancient Egypt and the River Nile.

Provided Resources

  • River Nile images
  • Hapi/Hapy images
  • Tawaret images
  • Outline map of Ancient Egypt and the River Nile

You Will Need

  • Atlases
  • Globe
  • Large sheets of sugar paper

Session 2 Farmers

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between cultural, economic, religious and social history and between short- and long-term timescales.

Science

  • Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity.
  • Recognise that some mechanisms allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

Design and Technology

  • Understand and use mechanical systems in their products.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the three seasons in the Ancient Egyptian farming year; understand the importance of the Nile in providing both water and fertile soil for the Ancient Egyptians; construct a working model of a shaduf to add to your Nile map.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand that most Ancient Egyptians were farmers and explain the vital importance of the Nile for farmers.
  • To understand how a shaduf mechanism enabled farmers to move larger/heavier quantities of water.
  • To design and make a model shaduf.

Children will:

  • Describe the three seasons in the Ancient Egyptian farming year.
  • Explain the importance of the Nile in providing both water & fertile soil for the Ancient Egyptians.
  • Explain how a shaduf works.
  • Construct a working model of a shaduf.

Provided Resources

  • The farming year
  • Farming scenes
  • The farming year diagram template
  • The farming year diagram
  • Nilometer
  • Shaduf images, old and new

You Will Need

  • Dowelling or twigs
  • Quick drying clay or Plasticine
  • Glue gun
  • Thick card
  • Lego

Session 3 Crops and animals

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between cultural, economic and social history.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including sculpture.

Teaching and Activities

Plan and make a model Ancient Egyptian farm to add to your Nile model.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To list the animals that Ancient Egyptians raised and the crops they grew and describe a typical Ancient Egyptian farm.
  • To plan and make a model Ancient Egyptian farm.

Children will:

  • Describe a typical Ancient Egyptian farm.
  • Explain that the Ancient Egyptians had a balanced and healthy diet.
  • Plan and make a model Ancient Egyptian farm.

Provided Resources

  • Farming list
  • Caring for animals images
  • Market scene image
  • Ancient Egyptian Farm image

You Will Need

  • See Inside Ancient Egypt by Rob Lloyd Jones & David Hancock
  • Who Built the Pyramids? by Jane Chisholm, Struan Reid and Sue Stitt
  • Plasticine or quick drying clay
  • Wool
  • Pebbles
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Twigs
  • Fabrics
  • Newspaper
  • Diluted PVA glue
  • Masking tape

Weblinks

There are no weblinks needed for this session.

Session 4 Transport

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between cultural, economic and social history.

Design and Technology

  • Generate, develop and model their ideas through discussion and annotated sketches.
  • Evaluate their products and consider how to improve them.

Science

  • Identify the effects of water resistance.

Teaching and Activities

Describe the boats that Ancient Egyptians used for transport along the Nile; make a model reed boat and test it for the Pharaoh!

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand that boats on the River Nile were the main transport system used by Ancient Egyptians and describe and explain their uses.
  • To make a model papyrus boat.
  • To discuss water resistance and the forces involved and investigate how much cargo their model boat could hold.

Children will:

  • Describe the boats that Ancient Egyptians used for transport along the Nile.
  • Make a model reed boat and test it for the Pharaoh!

Provided Resources

  • Ancient Egyptian boat images
  • Evidence of wooden boats
  • Trade images
  • Fishing and hunting images
  • How to make an Ancient Egyptian papyrus boat

You Will Need

  • 16 bendy plastic straws for each pair plus spares
  • Masking tape or Sellotape
  • String
  • Washing up bowl & water
  • Marbles or similar

Session 5 Importance of the Nile

Objectives

History

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, and significance, and use them to make connections and to create their own structured accounts.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between cultural, economic and social history.

English

  • Note and develop initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary.
  • Identify the audience for and purpose of the writing.
  • Use further organisational devices to structure text.
  • Gain and maintain the interest of the listener.
  • Give well-structured descriptions and explanations.
  • Participate in presentations.

Teaching and Activities

Using the map and models you have made in the previous sessions, work together in a group to prepare a presentation about the importance of the River Nile to the Ancient Egyptians.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand the importance of the River Nile to the Ancient Egyptians.
  • To plan and give a presentation about the importance of the River Nile to the Ancient Egyptians.

Children will:

  • Explain the importance of the River Nile to the Ancient Egyptians.
  • Work together in a group to prepare a presentation about the River Nile.
  • Give the presentation to an invited audience.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • The map and models made in previous sessions during this block
  • An invited audience