Teaching Ancient Egypt and other ancient civilizations

KS2 Ancient Egypt Outstanding Lessons

Our Y4 pupils loved the lessons this year (July 2020)

The lesson helps to cover a range of aspects of the topic including pyramids, the afterlife, gods and pharaohs. And pupils will love working out what the mystery object is.

The completely revised medium-term planner for Ancient Egypt is now uploaded featuring not only your favourite outstanding lessons in a carefully sequenced series of enquiries but also showing how to blend in a study of the other ancient civilizations in a meaningful way.

Ancient Egypt has always been a really popular history topic to teach at Key Stage 2 and one best-suited to Year 3 and 4 pupils. It provides a marvellous context for exploring the characteristic features of one of the most colourful of ancient civilizations. Until 2014 there was no obligation to compare Ancient Egypt with any other ancient society. Now pupils are expected to know about ancient Sumer, the Indus Valley, and The Shang dynasty. Whilst welcoming this broader approach, we do need to maintain a sense of proportion.

Just how comparative a view can very young children have when their sense of chronology is still so undeveloped? My preference is still to teach Ancient Egypt using 5 key enquiry questions with just one question which asks pupils to investigate whether there were any other civilizations like Egypt’s at that time, what they had in common and how can we possibly know?

Featured below are the lessons that flow from the main Ancient Egypt enquiries.


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Ancient Egypt : a new Pompeii?

A few weeks ago, Egyptian archaeologists the discovery of a “lost city” of the pharaohs dating back some 3,400 years that they described as the biggest ancient settlement yet uncovered in the Nile valley and the second most important find since Tutankhamun. The city was...
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Ancient Egypt – KQ4 – Additional Smart Task

(NB This is not included on the planner)

How can we learn so much about Ancient Egypt from just these 6 objects? ( NEW September 2020)

After an initial stimulus ‘slow reveal’, pupils working groups to work out how historians manage to deduce so much from simple...
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Ancient Egypt – KQ5 Part 2 – After-life lesson KS2

Understanding the Book of the Dead: from page to stage

Using simple drama techniques to make a very old document come alive, this lesson involves pupils becoming the characters in the pictures of the Book of the Dead so that they can personalise what...

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