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.

Planner, knowledge organiser and assessment tasks

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Ancient Egypt – SMART task – Puzzle corner: Mystery of the pyramids in the desert

This thinking skills task has been designed to encourage pupils to work out plausible answers to the puzzling question, one…

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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…

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Outstanding medium term planner for Ancient Civilizations: Egypt Y3

At one point in recent years, there were real fears that Ancient Egypt would be axed from the KS2 curriculum….

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ancient egypt
Ancient Egypt – KQ1 – Launching the Enquiry. So you think you know about Ancient Egypt?

What can we quickly add to what we already know about Ancient Egypt? This way of starting should build on…

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Ancient Egypt – KQ2 – How can we discover what Ancient Egypt was like over 5,000 years ago?

Pupils are invited to join an archaeological excavation, using slide 2-5 to set the scene. Before they can begin their…

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Tutankhamun's tomb
Ancient Egypt – KQ3 part 1 – The opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb

The opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb: a brilliant reconstruction relay The activity that forms the basis of this lesson is called…

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Ancient Egypt – KQ3 Part 2 – So who did build the pyramids? Did the Prince of Egypt film get it right?

This active lesson for Year 4 has been adapted from the one featured in the QCA Teacher Assessment Activities for…

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Ancient Egypt – KQ4 Part 1 – What can an old clay model and a pair of old sandals tell us about life in Ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago?

What does the evidence tell us about the everyday life for men women and children? Here the focus is on…

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Crimewatch Ancient Egypt: Tomb Robbers
Ancient Egypt – KQ4 Part 2 – Using evidence of Life in Ancient Egypt KS2 – Pupils love playing history detectives

Crimewatch Ancient Egypt: Tomb Robbers This fun activity is a brilliant way of developing pupils’ deductive thinking skills in a…

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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…

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upils use this website to actually assist Anubis in carrying out a mummification
Ancient Egypt – KQ5 Part 1 – Embalming the dead in Ancient Egypt : Great history and great literacy too

Helping the Hopeless Embalmer This really fun lesson, in the style of ‘mantle of expert’, asks the children to help…

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Scene from the Book of the Dead. Pupils take on the role of characters in the image and act out the journey of Ani to Osiris and the afterlife
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…

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Scene from the Book of the Dead. Pupils take on the role of characters in the image and act out the journey of Ani to Osiris and the afterlife
Ancient Egypt – KQ5 – After-life lesson additional information – Dealing with sensitive issues

This supports the teaching of KQ5. As you know, pupils get very excited by whole topic of mummification. Whilst we…

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Ancient Egypt – KQ6 – What did Ancient Egypt have in common with other civilizations at the time?

The main activity here is called gallery. Pupils are shown images (printed from the KQ6 PowerPoint) which are displayed around…

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ancient world
Ten things your KS2 pupils should know about language and communication in the ancient world.

This article should inform your teaching of the Ancient Civilizations topic Imagine a world without writing-without any writing at all:…

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Brief 10 question diagnostic assessment task for KS2 Ancient Egypt

Pupils have to answer 10 fairly open ended questions for which answers are provided reflecting the knowledge and understanding outlined…

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