This week, I put together an Egypt homeschooling unit study for my kindergartener.
With cursed mummies, bejeweled pharaohs, and pyramids gleaming in the desert, Egypt is among my favorite country studies.
So, our family is currently preparing for an international trip to Cairo for a worldschooling adventure in ancient history, art, and culture.
In order for my homeschooler to get the most out of our experience there, I decided to lay the groundwork with these lesson ideas.
Egyptology for Kids
When designing my own lessons from scratch, I like to choose a longer form, high-quality book to read in sections all week long (as I did with this lesson on forest schooling).
This gives me a basis to work from.
So, for this lesson on Egyptology for kids, I went with (affiliate link —->) A Child’s Introduction to Egyptology: The Mummies, Pyramids, Pharaohs, Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Heather Alexander.
This one has everything I look for in a lesson book. It’s beautiful and well-written with a logical layout that covers mythology, history, famous figures, hieroglyphics, and even a detailed overview of the mummification process.
It’s a little advanced for most kindergarteners, but I got it to “grow into” and it’s definitely appropriate for 6-9-year-olds.
STEM Lesson on Desert Biomes
After some practice, I discovered I can fit a STEM lesson into just about any unit study (even art lessons, like this one on Frida Khalo).
In this case, we worked on the concept of biomes, and in particular, desert biomes.
We discussed common animals found in the Egyptian desert, as well as weather patterns, plants, and animals.
We created a few projects for this unit study, but my favorite was this Egyptian mummy project!
It’s super easy. Just make a rough mummy shape with some polymer clay.
1. Bake it.
2. Paint it black.
3. Wrap it in first aid guaze.
4. Add googly eyes.
Of course, every lesson on Egypt needs a pyramid project!
You can find these little 1/2″ wood blocks at any craft store or dollar store.
Glue into a pyramid shape, spray paint it with gold paint, and voila.
My son is a little too young to make a project board, but I started making them for him as visual aids.
I find it provides a great reference point to refer to that isn’t too dense or complicated.
The most effective ones for us work in a number of key concepts. I try to set some goals for our learning, then incorporate them into the project board.
I try to stick to a few simple, easy-to-grasp concepts to build on later.
In this case, I wanted him to understand:
-Know the meaning of hieroglyphics.
-Identify the Sphinx.
-Be able to point out where exactly Egypt is in Africa.
-Know the Egyptian flag.
Here’s some more ideas for this lesson:
–Try making karkade tea. Karade, or hibiscus tea, is a favorite Egyptian treat. It’s easy to make and kid-friendly.
–Make “papyrus.” Make “papyrus” from an old paper bag.
–Learn some hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics are both elegant and deeply meaningful. Study them, make art with them, write secret messages to each other with them!
-Study Egyptian mythology. Mythology makes story time an experience of the imagination. With crocodile-headed gods and sacred cats, Egyptian folklore is way weirder and more interesting than any Disney movie.