The kids and I have been having a very exciting time exploring ancient Egypt in different ways over the past couple weeks. Although we haven’t left the house, we’ve traveled through the Egyptian desert, explored the tombs of ancient pharaohs, ridden down the Nile river, studied ancient hieroglyphs and worked with papyrus. Egypt is a fascinating country to explore, rich in history, art, geography, math and mystery. This school year I purchased Oak Meadow’s sixth grade curriculum and have been extremely happy with their Ancient Civilizations and English course book. The course book includes historical information, stories, discussion questions, writing assignments and projects. I have found that I can adapt it as a useful resource for all the children in our Egyptian explorations. Egyptology is also a fantastic resource book for all ages that is beautifully illustrated and extremely informative in a creative way.
The Egyptians were the first people known to divide the day into 24 hours. The Egyptians used a shadow clock or a sundial to tell time. One of our first Egyptian projects was to create a giant sun dial and keep a record of the time. To do this, Ava simply put a large stick in the ground and observed the shadow every hour marking each hour off with another stick. It was interesting to see how the shadow length changed with the hours of the day. If you’d like to give this project a try in the warmer weather you can try putting a large piece of paper in a sunny spot and securing it down with rocks. Place a piece of clay or play dough in the center and insert a pencil. Follow the shadow at each hour to mark the time. Another fun way to do this is with a large stick placed into the center of a sunny sandbox and watching the shadow each hour. If you live near the beach this is fun to do while you pass the time away in the sun!
I purchased some papyrus paper on Amazon and the kids had lots of fun making origami papyrus boats and bookmarks that they decorated with ancient hieroglyphs.
Another great find that both Ava and Lily have loved is Highlights Top Secret Adventures Book Club. Each mystery kit includes a world travel guide, puzzle challenge and detective game. The kids have traveled to many countries solving the mystery challenge using deductive reasoning skills, math, reading, puzzle games and other activities. Egypt just happened to land on our doorstep at the right time! This adventure series is something Lily, my 9-year-old, works on independently and loves! Leo, 7, also enjoys this adventure series, but needs my assistance in working through the clues and reading the guide book.
Reading Rainbow has an excellent episode on Egypt for grade school children.
We also enjoyed watching this NOVA special on Amazon Prime about the ancient pyramids
This National Geographic Special on Tutankhamun’s Tomb is fantastic.
And no lesson would be complete without some travels with Rick Steves! He has two great episodes exploring Egypt yesterday and today.