Ancient Egyptians

History Lessons

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The Ancient Egyptians Lessons Pack contains a complete 10-lesson history unit of work for Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11), with detailed lesson plans, Powerpoint slides, teacher guides and printable activity sheets.

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Lessons in this unit:

1. Who were the Ancient Egyptians?

This lesson introduces the Ancient Egyptians and helps pupils to set this early civilization into its wider historical context of time and place. After looking at a historical source to find details and generate questions, pupils will create a timeline of key events from the period.


  • To find out when and where the Ancient Egyptians lived

  • To use a timeline to explore key events from Ancient Egyptian times

2. Why was Ancient Egypt the ‘Gift of the Nile’?

In this lesson pupils will play a map work game in pairs to help them to investigate the basic geography of Ancient Egypt. Then they will learn about the important natural resources provided by the River Nile and its role in farming. Pupils will use their new knowledge to create an information poster about the Nile and an optional extension activity will challenge pupils to explore modern-day maps of Egypt to make comparisons.


  • To understand the importance of the River Nile in Ancient Egypt

  • To give examples of the natural resources provided by the Nile

3. Who were the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs?

This lesson explores the role of the pharaohs and introduces some significant figures. Pupils will play a ‘Find that Pharaoh’ game to become familiar with key people and dates. They will learn about important symbols associated with pharaohs and use them to design a royal sarcophagus.


  • To find out about some of the most famous Egyptian pharaohs

  • To explore the meaning of symbols associated with the pharaohs

4. Why did the Ancient Egyptians build the pyramids?

In this lesson pupils will think about the why, what, how and where of pyramid building. They will investigate different types of pyramids in a hands-on modelling challenge and then they will learn about some of the logistics behind building these gigantic structures as well as exploring their key purposes. Pupils will present their findings in a 3D pyramid fact file.


  • To explore what the pyramids looked like

  • To discover why and how the Egyptians built the pyramids.

5. What did the Ancient Egyptians do for fun?

This lesson looks at popular leisure activities in Ancient Egyptian culture. Pupils will think about their own hobbies and then work in groups to look at a range of historical sources to find clues about Ancient Egyptian pastimes. They will then have a chance to play a version of an Ancient Egyptian board game called Senet.


  • To find out which pastimes were popular in Ancient Egypt

  • To learn about an Ancient Egyptian board game

6. What was mummification in Ancient Egypt?

In this exciting lesson pupils will find out all about the process of making mummies! After they have been introduced to the reasons behind mummification in Ancient Egypt, pupils will work in teams on a hands-on challenge to make their own mummified dolls following the different steps of the ancient process and then write their own instructions. They will finish the lesson with a quiz about animal mummies.


  • To find out why the Ancient Egyptians mummified people

  • To understand the different stages of the mummification process

7. Who were the Ancient Egyptian gods?

In this lesson, pupils will play a game to learn about different gods and goddesses from Ancient Egypt, including how they were depicted and areas of responsibility. Pupils will create a set of fact files about three gods or goddesses. Then they will examine a series of historical sources and apply their new knowledge to work out which deity is depicted in each source.


  • To compare different Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses

  • To look at some sources depicting Ancient Egyptian gods

8. What did Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics mean?

In this lesson pupils will look at historical sources containing Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and look closely for familiar symbols among the writing. Pupils will learn about what kind of messages were written in hieroglyphics, discuss some of the issues around translation and use a hieroglyphics key to make their own Egyptian cartouche.


  • To discover what Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs looked like

  • To explore the issue of translating hieroglyphics

9. What was discovered inside Tutankhamun’s tomb?

This lesson is designed to help pupils to understand the significance of Howard Carter’s discovery. Pupils will read an extract from Carter’s diary and take part in an exciting roleplay challenge to recover Tutankhamun’s tomb objects. After cataloguing their finds, pupils will be challenged to think about different viewpoints on removing the tomb objects.


  • To explore the story of Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb

  • To investigate some of the contents of Tutankhamun’s tomb

  • To begin to consider ethical implications of digging up the past

10. Who was Cleopatra and how is she remembered?

In this lesson pupils will learn about Cleopatra VII and her legacy as the last main pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Pupils will act out her story, including the defeat of the Ancient Egyptian civilisation. Pupils will read a range of opinions about Cleopatra from historical sources and be encouraged to form their own conclusions about her character.


  • To explore the story of Cleopatra VII

  • To investigate Cleopatra’s legacy and some of the different opinions about her.

Full Unit

Download the full unit containing all 10 lessons, with detailed planning, pupil resources and Powerpoint slides.

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