Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ancient Egypt in the Classroom

One of my favorite things to teach in social studies are ancient civilizations! We start off our year with Ancient Egypt, since most of the kids have some background subject on the topic and therefore are very interested in it. Mummies, pyramids, King Tut - they love it all!

In third-grade in Virginia, we teach four ancient civilizations in third-grade (Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome).  Read below to learn more about some of the things that I use to teach the content to keep it informative and educational - yet boatloads of fun!

I teach the content using my products from my TPT store, Glitter in Third. The interactive notebook is differentiated, so this is my personal favorite. I love all the flips and folds - and so do the kids! However, all three products are an easy way to teach the content in a way that the kids love and have fun with.

All three products are very similar but in different formats. Do your kids love creating hands-on foldables? Check out the interactive notebook! Do you have a tiny block of time for social studies? The worksheets are right up your alley! Are you one of the lucky schools to be 1:1 technology? Definitely take a peek at the Google Drive/Google Classroom product.


  • Egyptian headdresses & collars
I found a template for the headdress and necklace online. It takes about an hour total for the kids to color and cut out. Assembly was tedious at first, but I had the first few kids that finished first be the "Experts" and helped me assemble other students' as well! These are the cutest things and the best for adorable class photo ops.

  • Making papyrus
    • The kids ADORE this project... which always leaves me confused because I personally find it rather disgusting and not very realistic. However, all you need is:
      • Brown paper towels
      • Cup of Elmers glue and water
      • Scissors
      • A plastic tray to eliminate a mess
The kids simply cut the brown paper towels into strips. The strips are dipped in the glue, then weaved together and assembled onto the tray! It shows them how the papyrus was weaved into paper by the Ancient Egyptians.

When the "papyrus" was dry (it takes about 2-3 days to dry), my kids used markers and Sharpies to draw hieroglyphics on it. My kids proclaimed this their favorite activity all year, so for whatever reason it is a big crowd-pleaser!

Here are some of my favorite read alouds! I love to incorporate the ancient civilization into every aspect of our curriculum. These are a great way to start off the unit to engage interest.
  • Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile by Tomie DePaola
  • Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty
  • Croco'nile by Roy Gerrard
  • I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting
  • Pepi and the Secret Names by Jill Paton Walsh
  • The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo

Y'all. There are some great videos on Ancient Egypt that students love to watch! Check them out - perfect for a rowdy Friday :-)

Do you teach Ancient Egypt? What are some of your favorite activities?

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I love this! Question.. what was your glue to water ratio? Does it matter?

    My 3rd graders are going to LOVE this! Thanks!