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A Kindergarten Unit On Ancient Egypt
A Kindergarten Unit On Ancient Egypt
24 Mar, 2018. 2 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Social Studies, Reggio Inspired, Science, Social Studies, STEM. Posted By: Kristen Smith

A kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt

Hello friends! One of my students asked me if we could learn about ancient Egypt so this past week we have been having a blast learning about it! To begin the unit, I gathered a few books on ancient Egypt.

Books for a unit on ancient Egypt

Our favorites were Bill and Pete Go Down The Nile, The Seeker of Knowledge, Mummy Math, and Everything Ancient Egypt. I love combining nonfiction with fiction books throughout a unit.

Ancient Egypt themed bookshelf

I also set up an Egypt themed sensory table which was a huge hit this week!

An Egypt inspired sensory table

Our Egypt themed “hunt the room” cards provided more than a thousand conversation starters this week 😉 as well as many, many questions and wonders.

Ancient Egypt hunt the room activity Ancient Egypt hunt the room activity

Each day we learned about a specific aspect of ancient Egyptian life and history. My students loved learning about how the pyramids were built, the Sphinx, hieroglyphics, pharaohs, and the Nile River. Here’s a closer look at some of the things we did this week.

The Pyramids

We watched a few videos about the pyramids. My favorite was from “It’s Okay To Be Smart” but please note that he says “heckin'” in it so I made sure to start the video after that part!

After watching this video and reading our nonfiction book on them, we attempted to make our own pyramids out of sugar cubes! This was super fun! (We used glue to hold them together!)

STEM PROJECT: Can you make an Egyptian pyramid out of sugar cubes?

Kindergarten students created pyramids out of sugar cubes during their unit on ancient Egypt.
Kindergarten students created pyramids out of sugar cubes during their unit on ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created pyramids out of sugar cubes during their unit on ancient Egypt.Kindergarten students created pyramids out of sugar cubes during their unit on ancient Egypt.

Hieroglyphics

Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt.

The next day we learned about the inside of the pyramids and how the Egyptians wrote. To begin, we read the book “The Seeker Of Knowledge.” This is a great book that encourages students to persevere and use grit!

After reading the book, I told my students that I had the “heiroglyphics code” and that we were going to make our own hieroglyphic prints. {THE KIDS WERE SO EXCITED!!}

Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt.

To do this we needed foam printing plates, brayers (I borrowed these from our art teacher), ball point pens, a spray bottle, sponges, and washable markers. I learned how to do this from Cassie Stephens. She has a fabulous tutorial for print making here:

To get started, my students wrote secret codes using the hieroglyphic code with ballpoint pens.

Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt.

Next, they colored the foam plate with washable markers.

Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt.

Finally, we sprayed our drawing paper with the spray bottle and wiped off the excess (make sure you do this!) with a sponge. My students carefully rolled the brayer over their foam plate and then lifted to see the print!

Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt.

They turned out beautiful and my students LOVED this activity!
Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt. Kindergarten students created hieroglyphic prints while learning about ancient Egypt.

Pharaohs

A kindergarten Reggio inspired unit on ancient Egypt.

Our “Everything Ancient Egypt” book was a huge hit amongst my young learners. They loved looking at the pictures in it and wanted to know more about the ancient pharaohs. On Thursday we read about King Tut and Rameses and discussed what we knew about the pharaohs from our Bible stories. During center time, my students had the opportunity to make some super simple crafts.

A kindergarten Reggio inspired unit on ancient Egypt. Can you make pharaoh's necklace?

My students created a plethora of pharaoh inspired jewelry! Once the bangle bracelets dried (the pasta and toilet paper rolls), we painted them gold.

A kindergarten Reggio inspired unit on ancient Egypt. Can you make pharaoh's bracelet?

Egypt Geography

Throughout the week we learned a song to teach us about Ancient Egypt’s geography. I’ll be honest and say I still need the words to sing it but my kids know it so well! It goes like this:

One of the extensions to this song was creating the map on our light table using gems.

Can you make the map of ancient Egypt at the light table?

Egypt Themed STEM Day

On Friday we had a BLAST with our “STEM” day. To begin the day, my students created collaborative murals to show me all that they had learned throughout the week. I placed butcher paper on the tables and placed art supplies on the tables. Then students drew what they learned. During this time I walked around listening to the conversations my students were having. Many students drew pictures of the Nile River, the pyramids of Giza, the pharaohs, King Tut, and the Sphinx. They were super engaged and it showed me just how much they retained from this unit!

During our morning meeting we completed a REALLY fun activity: turning each other into mummies! BOY did they LOVE this!! :)

A Reggio inspired kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt. In this activity students learned about the pyramids and pharaohs and were turning each other into mummies! A Reggio inspired kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt. In this activity students learned about the pyramids and pharaohs and were turning each other into mummies! A Reggio inspired kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt. In this activity students learned about the pyramids and pharaohs and were turning each other into mummies! A Reggio inspired kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt. In this activity students learned about the pyramids and pharaohs and were turning each other into mummies! A Reggio inspired kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt. In this activity students learned about the pyramids and pharaohs and were turning each other into mummies!

You can tell from the pictures just how much they loved this!

After our mummy activity, We read the book Mummy Math and I introduced our STEM challenge of the day.

The challenge was: Can you build the inner chamber of a pyramid including twists, turns, and dead ends in an attempt to protect your treasure and then drive Sphero through the maze?

My students were so excited to begin! I split my students into two groups. One group created pyramids out of Legos and watercolored “King Tut” while the other group began our main STEM challenge for the day.

Kindergarten students enjoy an Ancient Egypt inspired STEM day Can you build the inner chamber of a pyramid including twists, turns, and dead ends in an attempt to protect your treasure and then drive Sphero through the maze? Kindergarten students enjoy an Ancient Egypt inspired STEM day. This challenge was: Can you build the inner chamber of a pyramid including twists, turns, and dead ends in an attempt to protect your treasure and then drive Sphero through the maze? Kindergarten students enjoy an Ancient Egypt inspired STEM day. This challenge was: Can you build the inner chamber of a pyramid including twists, turns, and dead ends in an attempt to protect your treasure and then drive Sphero through the maze?

They LOVED this challenge!

Kindergarten students enjoy an Ancient Egypt inspired STEM day. This challenge was: Can you build the inner chamber of a pyramid including twists, turns, and dead ends in an attempt to protect your treasure and then drive Sphero through the maze?

A kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt

A kindergarten unit on ancient Egypt

We LOVED learning about ancient Egypt! I will be uploading a complete packet to my Teachers Pay Teachers shop soon so that you can have a hardcopy of all of our lesson plans, activities, and printables! I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

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2 Comments
  1. I have been following you for years. I love all the activities you do. I must assume that your school has not been hit with homeschooling, charter schools, and the economy, like ours. We were in the 500s for student population for close to 10 years. Now we are half of that. I have to buy anything extra I want for the classroom. Does Texas give a lot of funding to Christian schools? Do you have grants? A huge budget?
    Do you do most of these activities in the afternoon? What curriculum do you use for Language Arts and Mathematics?
    How do you find time to switch out themes every week?
    Is Friday a school wide STEM day?
    I am sorry for the billion questions. I teach K at Cumberland Christian School in Vineland, New Jersey. I am always looking for new ideas.
    Sara

    • Hi Sara! Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy following my blog. Our school is very much so in a situation like yours. We have seen a drop in enrollment. I also have to buy everything I want for my classroom. The materials that you see on my blog are items that I have purchased out of my own pocket (or have asked for via donations and received thanks to very generous parents). Texas does not give any funding to Christian schools– at least none that I know of! I integrate these units throughout our day. I find that this increases engagement, participation, and a desire to know more. My principal is very supportive of what I do and allows me to use the curriculum that I write in my classroom. I also wrote the STEM curriculum for my school. Regarding switching out themes, many of our units last 1-3 weeks. If my students are super interested in a topic, they might last even longer! You’ll notice that most of my classroom “transformations” include the kids. I let them paint our murals and they help me hang up the new vocabulary words! They love to put them around the classroom and show their friends where they are. This also creates much more “buy in!” Friday is not a “school wide” STEM day, but it is in my classroom (and also in a few other classrooms)! In our preschool classroom, they have “I wonder Wednesdays.” Tuesdays are our school wide garden days (each grade goes once a month). Fridays (for us) tend to be either STEM days or special themed days. For example, next week the first grade teacher and I will be transforming the entire school into Mario World for a truly special day for our kinder and first grade students! My principal loves these types of activities and supports and encourages us to make learning as hands-on as possible. Our parents love to contribute to days like this. Everything we are using for this transformation was purchased by our parents. I also ask companies if they provide teacher discounts or will donate items for activities. Many times, they are more than happy to help support us! Regarding time, I get to school every day around 6:30 (I pick up my kids at 7:45) and leave most days around 3:30. (Kids leave at 3:00.) Occasionally I will go in on a Sunday if I am switching out a lot of centers or activities but I’ve gotten better at not needing to do this very often this year! I am much more of a morning person so most of my prepping and planning happens early in the morning!

2 Comments

  • I have been following you for years. I love all the activities you do. I must assume that your school has not been hit with homeschooling, charter schools, and the economy, like ours. We were in the 500s for student population for close to 10 years. Now we are half of that. I have to buy anything extra I want for the classroom. Does Texas give a lot of funding to Christian schools? Do you have grants? A huge budget?
    Do you do most of these activities in the afternoon? What curriculum do you use for Language Arts and Mathematics?
    How do you find time to switch out themes every week?
    Is Friday a school wide STEM day?
    I am sorry for the billion questions. I teach K at Cumberland Christian School in Vineland, New Jersey. I am always looking for new ideas.
    Sara

    • Hi Sara! Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy following my blog. Our school is very much so in a situation like yours. We have seen a drop in enrollment. I also have to buy everything I want for my classroom. The materials that you see on my blog are items that I have purchased out of my own pocket (or have asked for via donations and received thanks to very generous parents). Texas does not give any funding to Christian schools– at least none that I know of! I integrate these units throughout our day. I find that this increases engagement, participation, and a desire to know more. My principal is very supportive of what I do and allows me to use the curriculum that I write in my classroom. I also wrote the STEM curriculum for my school. Regarding switching out themes, many of our units last 1-3 weeks. If my students are super interested in a topic, they might last even longer! You’ll notice that most of my classroom “transformations” include the kids. I let them paint our murals and they help me hang up the new vocabulary words! They love to put them around the classroom and show their friends where they are. This also creates much more “buy in!” Friday is not a “school wide” STEM day, but it is in my classroom (and also in a few other classrooms)! In our preschool classroom, they have “I wonder Wednesdays.” Tuesdays are our school wide garden days (each grade goes once a month). Fridays (for us) tend to be either STEM days or special themed days. For example, next week the first grade teacher and I will be transforming the entire school into Mario World for a truly special day for our kinder and first grade students! My principal loves these types of activities and supports and encourages us to make learning as hands-on as possible. Our parents love to contribute to days like this. Everything we are using for this transformation was purchased by our parents. I also ask companies if they provide teacher discounts or will donate items for activities. Many times, they are more than happy to help support us! Regarding time, I get to school every day around 6:30 (I pick up my kids at 7:45) and leave most days around 3:30. (Kids leave at 3:00.) Occasionally I will go in on a Sunday if I am switching out a lot of centers or activities but I’ve gotten better at not needing to do this very often this year! I am much more of a morning person so most of my prepping and planning happens early in the morning!

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