We just wrapped up our study on the country of Egypt and I was really excited for this one. I love learning about Ancient Egypt and was excited to give my kids their first look. We did so many fun activities and projects.
Before I start to share, I like to give you the links to the past country units we have done so far this year so you can get a better idea of how we learn about each country and the flow in which we do them. We have been doing the same for each and it has been working out really well.
We began our study of Egypt the same as we do for every country, we read Maps, DK Countries of the World, and Children Just Like Me. We use the country outline from Around the World with Picture Books to color and label it in our notebooks. We watercolor the flag while listening to music from Egypt. We are loving the additional printable from Traveling the World from the Waldock Way, though a small flag cut out is also available in Around the World with Picture Books. We do all of this in one afternoon to begin our unit and wrap it up cuddled on the couch watching the YouTube playlist provided in Traveling the World.
We read lots of great books during this study, shown in the picture above. Our favorites were The Day of Ahmed’s Secret, The Egyptian Cinderella, and Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble. Not pictured, but a book I highly recommend that we really enjoyed was Mrs. Frizzle’s Adventures Ancient Egypt.
For our read aloud as a family, we enjoyed reading Magic Treehouse Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne. This is a simple, and short read everyone enjoyed. My daughter was going to read The Royal Diaries: Cleopatra- Daughter of the Nile, but after looking into it more I think it would work best for older children (she is 8.) It is a bit longer and uses some larger words that might be hard for younger children to grasp. We will definitely be saving it when we visit this subject again in the future. Instead, she read this early reader book about Cleopatra.
After learning a little about the country, itself, the rest of the unit we focused on Ancient Egypt. This is a BROAD area of study, so I was really thankful to find this subscription box from Unboxed History, specifically for Ancient Egypt, to help me narrow down some topics and provide all the supplies and activities we could do together. Unboxed History is a great resource to help learn about specific subjects throughout history and all boxes can be purchased separately as you need them. There are also different age ranges to choose from for each box.
Here are the topics we learned about, and in this order, that flowed nicely to the next topic:
Pyramids & the Nile River
Pharaohs: Cleopatra & King Tut
** We typically spend about 2 weeks on each country and covered one of these topics each afternoon. We read many books, but the best book to have to cover ALL these topics is DK Find Out! Ancient Egypt. This book is GREAT for kids and informative in ways they can understand. We used parts of this book for every topic below.
Pyramids & the Nile River
We read all about the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and the Nile River. The book Pyramid by David Macaulay is a great book, but a little long, so we just looked at all the pictures and read the small excerpts by each one. We learned how they used a sledge design to get all the large stones in place to make the pyramids and did an experiment ourselves. We used pencils (logs) and a few books (stone blocks.) They would roll the stones along the logs and once one log came out, they moved it to the front, over and over to move the stone along easily. We also watched THIS art tutorial on how to draw pyramids and wrote about the Pyramids of Giza on the back. To finish our lesson, I challenged them to create some pyramids with their magnatile pieces.
Next, we learned about Egyptian life. What their hierarchy was like, jobs, what they ate, what they wore, and games they played. Most of what we read was in the DK Find Out! Ancient Egyptian book. Part of our History Unboxed kit was the Ancient Egyptian game called Senet and my kids loved it. It came with all the supplies to make the game and instructions how to play. My kids enjoyed this game so much it has now been added to our game closet.
Pharaohs: Cleopatra & King Tut
Another favorite part was learning about the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. We read a few picture books on King Tut and Cleopatra (shared above) and watched some short videos found on YouTube. Next, we did an art project turning the kids into Pharaohs and it was the cutest! My favorite art project this year, so far, and they said they loved it because it was easy and fun. 🙌🏼
Sharing the steps on how to make your own:
- Take a side profile photo of your child with your phone, using a plain background, like a blank wall in your home.
- Edit the photo changing it to a black and white image. Print it on regular printer paper (size of the paper 8 x 11.)
- Next, cut their heads out- around their neck and hairline. Glue it to a brown piece of paper (or paper bag) to look like papyrus paper.
- Draw a simple headdress on the back of their head and clothing below their neck.
- Let them draw geometric designs and patterns, then color with oil pastels. Add as much detail as possible.
After learning about pharaohs, we learned all about the importance of mummification and tomb burial. Our History Unboxed kit provided great projects and experiments on making their own apple mummy and painting a sarcophagus. These hands-on projects really bring what we are learning to life and was so helpful to have it all done for me, and the supplies ready to go. (Sorry, I totally forgot to take pictures of these because we were so excited, but these are some blurry screen shots of video I took while completing them.)
At the end of every unit is when we typically study the different animals native to the country. We like to pick one to study more in depth, and for Egypt we chose the camel. We read about camels in our DK Encyclopedia of Animals, and they wrote some fact they learned in their notebooks. We read these two picture books, and listened to a read aloud of The Wooden Camel by Wanuri Kahiu on YouTube. I really recommend this story; it was really sweet and led to our hands on project.
I found this idea on Pinterest and thought we would try it out, not knowing it would be a HUGE hit in my house. This blog post describes how to do the activity and provides the camel template. I traced and cut our camels on brown card stock, you could also use thin carboard, like a cereal box. My kids colored index cards for the blankets on the camel’s back, and we taped piece of a straw (about 2 inched long) onto the back of the camel. We added string high up on the wall (but where they can still reach it) and then taped the other end to the floor, making sure the string was tight. *Before you tape it to the floor, make sure you add the string through the straw of the camel. Each child got their own string path and then we raced our camels. This worked amazingly well and was so much fun! My kids continued to race their camels over and over!
We couldn’t leave our Egypt study without talking about Moses, so I saved that for our last day. We read a few picture books we own and Moses by Leonard Everett Fisher recommended by Around the World with Picture Books (although my kids thought the graphics in this book were creepy.)
We love the channel Saddleback Kids on YouTube, so watched THIS video of Moses and the Exodus. After watching the video, my kids colored THIS moveable printable on the Ten Plagues of Egypt. We ended the night with a family movie night watching The 10 Commandents.
Our Egypt studies were full and so much fun! I can’t believe the amount we learned and completed in just two weeks! We are now taking a break from our Around the World studies for the month of December and will be back again in January. January we will cover Antartica and Australia.
While we were studying countries throughout Africa, our biome study for science was on the desert. I will have a blog post next week sharing all that we did for our desert biome.
I hope you enjoyed this post and will be back when we continue our studies Around the World. Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving with your loved ones!