Earliest Civilisations: Ancient Egyptians
Pharaohs and Pyramids

Learn about the mighty rulers of Ancient Egypt, their dynasties, battles and burials. Discover their symbols and crowns. Share knowledge and understanding of the pharaohs by staging an Ancient Egyptian exhibition.

Session 1 Dynasties

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 and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’ and ‘civilisation’.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, similarity, difference and significance.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between short- and long-timescales.

Design and Technology

  • Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks.
  • Select from and use a wider range of materials and components.

Teaching and Activities

Explain how the rulers of Ancient Egypt were divided into families or dynasties and know how rich and powerful the pharaohs were. Describe the crowns and symbols of pharaohs; make a double crown (Pschent) of Ancient Egypt.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand who the pharaohs were and place pharaohs and dynasties on timeline.
  • To make a double crown of Egypt.

Children will:

  • Explain how the rulers of Ancient Egypt were divided into families or dynasties.
  • Understand how rich and powerful the pharaohs were.
  • Describe the crowns and symbols of pharaohs.
  • Make a double crown (Pschent) of Ancient Egypt.

Provided Resources

  • Egyptian crowns
  • How to make a crown
  • Cobra images
  • Symbols of Pharaohs
  • The Social Pyramid

You Will Need

  • Red, white & yellow card
  • White A3 paper
  • Double-sided tape
  • Glue
  • Rulers

Weblinks

There are no weblinks needed for this session.

Session 2 Well-known Pharaohs

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, similarity, difference and significance.

English

  • Noting and developing initial ideas, drawing on reading and research where necessary.
  • Selecting appropriate grammar and vocabulary.
  • Using further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader.

Teaching and Activities

List some well-known pharaohs. Research and record facts about an individual pharaoh to make a fact file.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Study and compare the lives of some of the well-known pharaohs.
  • Research a well-known pharaoh. Write fact file/biography of a well-known pharaoh.

Children will:

  • List some well-known pharaohs.
  • Research and record facts about an individual pharaoh.
  • Understand that dates and details about many individual pharaohs are approximate.

Provided Resources

  • Plan of Tutankhamun’s tomb
  • Some Great Pharaohs
  • Cities of Ancient Egypt

You Will Need

  • Access to internet
  • Timelines from block A

Session 3 Defence of Ancient Egypt

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 the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between economic, military and social history.

Design and Technology

  • Generate, develop and communicate their ideas through annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams.
  • Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks.
  • Select from and use a wider range of materials and components.

Teaching and Activities

Name some Ancient Egyptian pharaohs who led their army into battle successfully; list the weapons used by the Ancient Egyptians; design, build and decorate a model of an Ancient Egyptian chariot.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To discover which Ancient Egyptian pharaohs did well in battle and describe the weapons and style of warfare that the Ancient Egyptians used.
  • To design and make an Ancient Egyptian chariot.

Children will:

  • Name some Ancient Egyptian pharaohs who led their army into battle successfully.
  • List the weapons used by the Ancient Egyptians.
  • Design, build and decorate a model of an Ancient Egyptian chariot.

You Will Need

  • Junk materials
  • Wheels
  • Dowelling
  • 1cm square wood strips
  • Matchsticks
  • Lolly sticks
  • Card
  • Hacksaws
  • Glue gun

Session 4 Early burials

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 connection between cultural, religious and social history, and between short- and long-timescales.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, similarity, difference and significance.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques including sculpture and painting with a range of materials.
  • Find out about great architects in history.

Teaching and Activities

Describe early burials in Ancient Egypt. Explain why mummification was developed to preserve bodies for the afterlife; describe the mummification process; make a model of a mummy; understand the importance of The Book of the Dead.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Recognise that the Ancient Egyptians buried their dead to enable them to reach the afterlife.
  • Understand that the burial method changed over centuries.
  • Understand the mummification process.
  • Carry out mummification process online.
  • Make a model mummy.

Children will:

  • Describe early burials in Ancient Egypt.
  • Explain why mummification developed to preserve bodies for the afterlife.
  • Describe the mummification process.
  • Make a model of a mummy.
  • Understand the importance of The Book of the Dead.

Provided Resources

  • Burial in sand
  • Mastaba images
  • Canopic jars
  • Mummy making!
  • Book of the Dead
  • Make your own Mummy
  • Mummy images
  • Shabtis images

You Will Need

  • Access to internet
  • Modelling clay or Plasticine
  • Plaster of Paris or Modroc
  • Aprons

Weblinks

Early burials leading to mummification from ancientegypt.co.uk
The afterlife explained from bbc.co.uk
Mummy timeline from ancientegypt.co.uk
Process of mummification explained from ancientegypt.co.uk
Visit the tomb of a noble from metmuseum.org
Short video clip of tomb of an architect from bbc.co.uk
Take the challenge to pass through the Underworld from ancientggypt.co.uk
Both Mummy making activities, or Both Mummy making activities from chnsuniversity.manchester.ac.uk and oi-archive.uchicago.edu
Inside a mummy from akhet.co.uk

Session 5 Pyramids

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 connection between cultural, religious and social history, and between short- and long-timescales.

Maths

  • Calculate the area of rectangles.
  • Recognise when it is possible to use a formula for area.
  • Identify 3-D shapes, from 2-D representations.
  • Recognise, describe and build simple 3-D shapes, including making nets.

Teaching and Activities

Explain how the structure of pyramids developed over the years. Describe the purpose of the pyramids and make 3D models of pyramids using 2D nets.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To place a range of pyramids in chronological order and describe the development of pyramids.
  • To build mastabas and pyramids using Lego bricks and nets.

Children will:

  • Explain how the structure of pyramids developed over the years.
  • Describe the purpose of the pyramids.
  • Make 3D models of pyramids using 2D nets.

Provided Resources

  • Zoser’s Step Pyramid
  • Inside the Step Pyramid
  • Net of a Square-Based Pyramid
  • Step Pyramid Evaluation Form
  • Pyramid Development sheets

You Will Need

  • Access to internet
  • Thin cardRulers
  • Protractors
  • Lego bricks

Session 6 Pyramid building enquiry

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 the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

Science

  • Identify the effects of friction that act between moving surfaces.
  • Recognise that some mechanisms allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

Teaching and Activities

Appreciate what a hard task it was for the Ancient Egyptians to build the pyramids. Understand that we cannot be sure of the methods that were used to build pyramids and learn of some of the difficulties they may have faced!

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Understand the enormity of the task for the pyramid builders.
  • Appreciate how many labourers would have been needed to build such large structures.
  • Understand that Egyptologists cannot be certain of the methods.
  • Plan and carry out an enquiry to find the best way of moving ‘blocks’ up a ramp.

Children will:

  • Appreciate what a hard task it was for the Ancient Egyptians to build the pyramids.
  • Understand that we cannot be sure of the methods that were used to build pyramids.
  • Understand that friction is a force that slows down objects moving across a surface.
  • Plan an enquiry to find the best way to pull a ‘block’ up a ramp.
  • Present their findings in writing and orally.

You Will Need

  • Access to internet
  • Containers for sand
  • Sand
  • Wood plank/blocks for making ramp
  • Newton meter/force meter
  • Bull dog clips
  • Wood for runners/rollers
  • Water
  • Plastic sheet if water is used

Session 7 The Sphinx

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 the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques including sculpture.
  • Find out about great designers in history.

Teaching and Activities

Describe the shape of The Sphinx at Giza. Understand the importance of The Sphinx to the Ancient Egyptians and make a model of The Sphinx.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand the significance of The Sphinx to Ancient Egyptians and be aware that there is controversy over the original shape of The Sphinx and who ordered it to be carved.
  • To make a model of The Sphinx.

Children will:

  • Describe the shape of The Sphinx at Giza.
  • Understand the importance of The Sphinx to the Ancient Egyptians.
  • Make a model of The Sphinx.

You Will Need

  • Access to internet
  • Clay/salt dough
  • Paints
  • Brushes

Session 8 Rock-cut tombs

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, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance.

Art

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

Teaching and Activities

Explain why it is thought that pyramids were no longer built for Pharaoh’s tombs during the New Kingdom; describe the Ancient Egyptian style of depicting people; draw and paint a figure in the Ancient Egyptian style.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand that during the New Kingdom the Ancient Egyptians no longer buried their pharaohs in pyramids, but instead in rock-cut tombs in The Valley of the Kings.
  • To understand how figures were represented in Ancient Egyptian art and draw and paint a figure in the Ancient Egyptian style.

Children will:

  • Explain why it is thought that pyramids were no longer built for Pharaoh’s tombs during the New Kingdom.
  • Describe the Ancient Egyptian style of depicting people.
  • Draw and paint a figure in the Ancient Egyptian style.

You Will Need

  • Access to internet
  • Paints: red, blue, yellow, green, white and black
  • Brushes
  • Sketching pencils

Session 9 Exhibition

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, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history, between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history, and between short- and long-timescales.

English

  • Participate in presentations.
  • Speak audible and fluently.
  • Use further organisational and presentational devices to structure text and to guide the reader.

Teaching and Activities

Bring together your findings about pharaohs and their burials. Prepare and give a presentation to an invited audience, making connections between different periods of Ancient Egyptian history.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To describe some aspects of Ancient Egyptian history to an audience and show understanding of historical concepts & the connections between the various aspects of Ancient Egypt.
  • To prepare materials for an exhibition, including a talk to introduce their display.

Children will:

  • Bring together their findings about pharaohs and their burials.
  • Prepare and give a presentation to an invited audience.
  • Make connections between different periods of Ancient Egyptian periods.
  • Give some examples of continuity and change, cause and consequence and similarity, difference and significance of events in Ancient Egyptian history.

You Will Need

  • Models made previously

Weblinks

There are no weblinks needed for this session.