Critical Thinking Questions Ancient Egypt

National Standards

Below is a selected list of subject area content standards that generally encompass thethe study of Ancient Egypt. More specific standards can be applied depending on the project and its curriculum.

Language Arts Standards

• Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

• Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.

Mathematics Standards

• Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement;
• Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements.
Number and Operations
• Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems;
• Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another;
• Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.

Science Standard

Science as Inquiry
• Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
• Understanding about scientific inquiry
Social Studies Standards


• Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity.

Time, Continuity, and Change

• Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the ways human beings view themselves in and over time.

Technology Standards

Research and Information Fluency
• Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
• Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

This simit recipe is adapted by Leanne Kitchen’s version. I hope you enjoy them at least as much as we did:)

Makes 10

Prep time: 40 minutes (+1 hr for the dough to rise) Baking time:15-18 minutes

1 pinch sugar

15ml/3 teaspoons dried yeast

500gr (1lb 2oz/3 1/4 cups) plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

125ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) pekmez (molasses like syrup)

235gr (8 1/2 oz 1 1/2 cups) sesame seeds

Egyptian Tomb Painting


Collect photographs

Create postcards in a graphics programs

Have students describe their impressions in the messages

Compare the postcard with something familiar or previously seen.

Trek back in history to the reign of the pharaohs. Uncover the secrets of mummification. Lift the shroud of mystery surrounding the great pyramids. Translate hieroglyphic writing. Open the door to anthropology and archeology through the study of Ancient Egypt. How many mysteries will your students discover and solve?

Ancient Egypt British Museum

Visit the British Museum and discover the land of Ancient Egypt. Learn about Egyptian life through stories, exploration, and a series of challenges. Play the Egyptian board game called Senet. Examine the painting in Nebamun’s tomb. Find geographic coordinates in ancient Egypt. Determine the size of a pyramid. Topics include mummification, pharaoh, pyramids, temples, time, traders, and writing. Do not miss the staff room for teachers to assist in finding the resources to meet the needs of students. This site is extensive, engaging and interactive.

The Ancient Egypt Site

An Egyptologist from Belgian maintains this up to date site on the different eras of Egyptian history. It includes tables of rulers from the many dynasties. Locations of monuments are illustrated on maps with the history of the time and place. The different styles of Egyptian writing from hieroglyphs, hieratic, and demotic are illustrated. The author provides a tutorial on learning to read Egyptian writing. Learn what archeologists have found in recent discoveries and how these discoveries continue to help in understanding ancient Egyptian culture.

BBC Ancient History: Egyptians

Highlighting the BBC website are two outstanding interactive features that will mesmerize your students. The mystery, Death in Sakkara: an Egyptian Adventure, is an award winning masterpiece set in 1929 Egypt. Journalist Charles Fox plunges into a darkly sinister world of intrigue, murder and mysticism in the hunt for a missing archaeologist. Your students determine the direction of the story and gather clues. In the Mummy Maker, students are invited to assist Kha in preparing the body of Ramose for his funeral. This is a great way for elementary and middle school students to learn about the mummification process.

Color Me Egypt

Tour Egypt through a variety of activities and games. Complete word games, make finger puppets and paper dolls, color, and write hieroglyphics. There are fifteen word searches pertaining to Egypt. Read the featured Egyptian story and the nine featured blogs. Photographs of the mosques of Egypt as well as information of Egypt’s government, culture, land, people, and cities are all included in this tour of Egypt.

Detroit Institute of Arts: Ancient Egypt Lesson Plans for Teachers

Carve images and hieroglyphs. Construct a 3-dimensional paper pyramid. Make a 21" cubit measuring stick. Transform a cardboard box into a mummy case. Create a market place and trade handmade Egyptian objects. These are a few examples of the artistic lessons available for elementary and middle school teachers.

Discovering Ancient Egypt

The Website presents a description of hieroglyphic writing, including an interactive Hieroglyphic Typewriter  – you can write your name in the ancient script and email secret messages to your friends. You will also learn about Egyptian numerals and test your knowledge with some mathematical problems set out using the ancient numbers.

Egyptian Calculator

Try your hand at using the Egyptian calculator. Enter the numbers and operations and see how the answers are calculated. Compare this system to other systems. Read about Egyptian fractions and history of Egyptian mathematics by selecting the links. This interactive site will invite inquiry.

Egyptology Online

The National Home Study Group in the United Kingdom invites visitors who are interested in Ancient Egypt to explore and use their free resources. Although the goal of this site is to recruit individuals for their courses, the information they provide is valuable for the classroom. Short descriptive articles covering pyramids, tombs, monuments, hieroglyphs, famous pharaohs are wonderful for research. Each topic is generously illustrated with color photographs and drawings. One feature worth noting for primary source aficionados is the story of David Roberts the first British artist to sketch the fantastic monuments of ancient Egypt. A few of his lithographs accompany the biography. This site is well designed and easy to navigate. Note: If you are interested in viewing more lithographs by David Roberts visit

Egyptomania Cleveland Museum of Art

Find brief information about daily life in Egypt. Take a quiz to test your knowledge about Egypt. Build a Pharaoh. Discover the animals that live in Egypt through photographs and art. Egyptomania lessons are another good resource for teachers and students.

Egypt’s Golden Empire

PBS provides a wealth of resources to compliment its program, Egypt’s Golden Empire. Start by reading about the accomplishments of people who prospered during this era. Next, check out the special features such as Virtual Egypt where you can explore key sites through panoramic views or the Virtual Library with primary sources such as paintings and sculptures. For educators, there are a variety of lessons from architectural marvels to science and technology that incorporate video clips from the film. Middle and high school teachers will find this site invaluable.

Explore the Pyramids

Who built the pyramids? How were they constructed? What artifacts were buried in the tombs? Find the answers to these questions and more at this National Geographic website.

Science Kids Mummy Experiment

Archaeologists discover mummies that have remained intact. How is this done? What materials were used to treat the body? Surviving the test of time has always fascinated scientists and archaeologists. Learn the secrets of making a mummy with this lesson.

Write Like an Egyptian

Enter the Egyptian Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Write your name in hieroglyphs on the screen the way an Egyptian scribe would have written it. Then send an online Egyptian postcard to anyone in the entire world. Visit the Secrets and Science of the Egyptian Mummy and discover their ideas about the afterlife. The mummification process is explained as well as the Book of the Dead. Find photos of the many exhibits in the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

This project focused on delivering information on ancient Egypt to sixth grade students in a way that is both hands-on and interactive.  This type of learning is beneficial to students who are tactile, visual, auditory, and interpersonal learners.  While many students fit into more than one type of preferred learning, this project tried to fit all modalities of learning into its lessons.

The implementation of the new Common Core Standards brings more critical thinking into the classroom.  This project incorporates this critical thinking through the use of critiquing ancient works of Egyptian art, and through looking at how the Egyptian social classes worked in tandem to create a civilization that thrived for generations.  This critical thinking will benefit the students because they will see that they can learn a subject without having to rely solely on reading a textbook.

Through talking with my students, I learned that they enjoy doing hands-on projects in school, and that they dislike writing and answering questions based on their textbook.  Taking that information, I created a project that incorporated the students’ likes into their education.  It is my belief that if students do not enjoy learning, they will not retain what they are taught.  However, if information can be presented to students in a way that they find fun and engaging, they will retain the information and there will also be more of a chance that they will want to learn more about it outside of the classroom.

This project that I have created uses many different techniques to present students with information, some of which include: WebQuests, debates, art projects, hands-on mummification, and using students as “teachers” during guided notes sessions.  Even though I believe that students learn the best through hands-on and interactive experiences, I still incorporated the use of textbooks and guided notes into this project because students in sixth grade need to learn how to use these invaluable resources to benefit their learning.

Through the use of guided notes, my students are able to begin to learn the note taking process and it’s benefits.  The guided notes used in this project help students to learn what is important enough to write down, and what is not.  The note taking portion of the social class research project and the WebQuest also help m y students to practice taking notes on topics using textbooks, the Internet, and other hard copy sources.

There has been a plethora research conducted that shows the benefits of using interactive, hands-on learning activities in the classroom.  These benefits can range anywhere from students being engaged in what they are learning and spending more time on activities, to students earning better grades and wanting to spend time outside of school learning more about a specific topic.

Social studies really lends itself to hands-on learning because there are so many different topics that can be covered with tactile learning (such as creating artifacts or examining real artifacts at museums), visual learning (such as looking at artwork from the time period being studied, creating tomb paintings or even creating papyrus), and auditory learning (such as listening to music from that time period or region being learned about).

Even though this project is geared towards sixth grade, the activities can be modified to fit younger grades or older grades.  It has been my experience that students in high school like to learn through hands-on methods just like younger students.  However, teachers need to ensure that the activities used to present information are age appropriate.

I hope that you will be able to utilize all or part of this project in your own social studies classroom.  If you have any questions or concerns about this project, please feel free to contact me at

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