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First Grade - World Civilization - Early Civilizations

The April lessons are a study of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. A detailed map of this area is included in Lesson 37. It is suggested that an overhead transparency be made of this map. The map is developed further in each lesson. Therefore, you may wish to store the maps in a safe place until the end of the unit.

You may conclude this unit of study with a celebration of some type. You may wish to devise a culminating activity that would be appropriate for your class. See the list of teacher resources for possible sources of ideas for such a celebration. These lessons deal with the content necessary to understand the purpose of such an event.

The Walters Art Gallery may be an appropriate field trip to kick off or wrap up this unit.

Visual Arts Lessons 26-29 further explore the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

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First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 37

Objectives

Define history.

Review "Fertile Crescent."

Locate Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the Nile River, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia and Africa.

Locate Mesopotamia.

Materials

A classroom size world map

"Early Civilizations" map (attached) one per student

Crayons

A diary (optional)

Procedure

Say: Today we are going to begin some lessons about things that happened long ago. We are going to learn about people who lived long ago. We are going to learn about history.

Say: History is the story of the people who lived before you were born. It tells about things that happened so long ago even the oldest person in the world today can't remember them.

Ask: What are some of the first things you remember about your life? (Allow children to recall events from their preschool years.)

Ask: Do you know what a diary is? (Show one if possible. Allow children to respond.)

Say: A diary is a book full of blank pages that people use to write down things that have happened to them. If we write down all the things that happen to us we would be writing down the history of our own lives.

Say: Much of what has happened in the world has been written down in books and newspapers. It is easy for us to find out about these events. But people have been living on the earth for many thousands of years- - -long before there were books and newspapers.

Ask: How do you think we can learn about the people who lived before the things that happened were written down? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: People who study about these people of long ago must search for clues from objects that have been left behind.

Ask: What objects do you think people of long ago might have been left behind? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: Tools, pottery and bones are some of the objects that contain clues of how the people of long ago lived. From these objects we can piece together a picture of history.

Direct attention to the classroom world map. Point to Africa. Ask: Who remembers the name of this continent? (Allow children to respond.) Point to Asia. Ask: Who remembers the name of this continent? (Allow children to respond.)

Say: Africa and Asia are the continents with some of the oldest history. Our lessons will be about places on these two continents where people of long ago lived and history began.

Distribute a copy of the map "Early Civilizations" to each student. You may wish to make an overhead transparency of the map to use as a guide. Assist the children in locating Africa and Asia on this map. Explain that this map is a close-up of the region they will be learning about. The map does not show the complete continent of Africa or Asia. Refer back to the classroom size world map. Locate the area on the world map that is represented in the map "Early Civilizations."

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First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 37

Point out the area labeled Sahara Desert. Direct the children to color this area brown.

Say: The river located in Africa is the Nile River. (Point to the Nile River.) Trace over the dotted line with a blue crayon. We will learn more about the Nile River and the Sahara Desert in another lesson.

Say: The two rivers in Asia are the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. (Point to each river as you name them. Allow the children to say Tigris and Euphrates a few times.) These two rivers were very important to the people of this region. Trace over the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers with a blue crayon.

Direct attention to the area shaded on the map in Asia. Tell the children to lightly color the entire area yellow. Tell the children to color the inner area, denoted with a dashed line, orange. They will color over part of the yellow area.

Say: The area you have colored yellow on your map is the area known as the Fertile Crescent. Ask: What do you remember about this area? (Review World Religion Lesson 16- -The Fertile Crescent is where some of the oldest settlements of people we know about built communities and farmed thousands of years ago. Fertile refers to the rich soil that was good for farming and grazing animals. Crescent refers to the shape of the land area.) Draw attention to the crescent shape of the area colored yellow. Note how the two rivers are included in the Fertile Crescent region.

Say: The area you have colored orange is part of the Fertile Crescent. This is the area known as Mesopotamia. (Allow children to say Mesopotamia a few times.) We are going to learn about Mesopotamia. We will learn about the people who long ago lived in this area and why it is known as the "cradle of civilization" in our next lesson.

Direct the children to color the rest of the land masses green and the water areas blue.

The maps that have been started today will be used in future lessons. The teacher may wish to collect the maps until the next lesson.



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First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 37

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First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 38

Objectives

Define civilization.

Identify Mesopotamia as the "cradle of civilization."

Locate Babylonia.

Explain the importance of writing (cuneiform) to the development of a civilization.

Explain why rules and laws are important to the development of a civilization (Code of Hammurabi).

Materials

A classroom size world map

"Early Civilizations" map (from Lesson 37)

Modeling clay (optional)

Suggested Titles

Teacher Resources

Calliope Magazine, "Mesopotamia" September/October 1993

This issue provides brief articles on historical topics, stories, myths, and craft projects about Mesopotamia, Hammurabi and Babylon.

Pofahl, Jane. Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia. T.S. Denison and Company, 1993.

This activity book is intended for grades three and up. It could be adapted for use with first graders. Black-line reproducible pages with writing activities, games, and patterns for hands-on projects are included. This publication is available in many teacher supply stores.

The Ancient Near East: A Bellerophon Coloring Book. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books, 1992.

Ready-to-color line drawings of gods, heroes, animals, and scenes of the ancient culture of Mesopotamia are included in this publication. Available through Bellerophon Books, 122 Helena Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

Read Aloud

Zeman, Ludmila, retold and illustrated by. Gilgamesh the King. Plattsburg, NY: Tundra Books, 1992.

See information in Suggested Follow-Up.

Procedure

Review the location of Mesopotamia by pointing to the area shaded in orange on the "Early Civilizations" map started in Lesson 37. Ask students to recall the name of this region. Firm up that Mesopotamia is part of the area known as the Fertile Crescent.

Say: Today we are going to learn about Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia is a Greek word. It means "between the rivers." Ask: Why is this a good name for this region? (Direct attention to the map "Early Civilizations." Point out Mesopotamia is located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.) Ask: Why would this area be a good place to live? (Allow children to speculate. Recall that the rivers created a fertile area for animals and farming. Review that fertile refers to the rich soil that was good for farming and grazing animals.)

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Say: Mesopotamia is known as the "cradle of civilization." The word civilization means a group of people who build cities, read and write, have a religious belief and make rules and laws. Civilizations often have their own written language, literature and art. Think about the word cradle. Ask: What is a cradle? (Allow children to respond.) Say: A cradle is a baby's first bed. Ask: Why do you think Mesopotamia is known as the "cradle of civilization?" (Allow children to speculate.) Say: Mesopotamia is known as the "cradle of civilization" because it served as the site for some of the world's earliest settlements. The term cradle means first and civilization means a group of people.

Say: Nearly 7,000 years ago, farmers began to move into the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Life was difficult. The weather was hot and dry and the two rivers flooded nearly every summer. But the soil was rich and fertile. The farmers built a system of canals, or ditches, to carry the flooded river water to their crops in the fields. Soon these farmers were able to grow many useful crops.

Say: Gradually, in the southern part of Mesopotamia, a great civilization grew. Houses of sun-dried mud bricks were built. A temple for worship services was made in the center of the city. Huge walls surrounded the city and farmland was all around. Ask: Why do you think walls were built around the city? (for protection) Say: As more and more people lived in this city it became necessary to keep track of things people traded. At first, pictures of the objects being traded were drawn on a flattened piece of wet clay with a piece of marsh grass called a reed. The clay was dried in the sun to make it into a hard tablet. (Draw a simple sketch of a fish on the chalkboard. Ask the children to identify the object you have drawn. Allow the children to think of other objects that can easily be sketched such as a tree, the sun, etc. Make simple sketches of these objects.) Later, symbols were used to represent ideas. The symbols were drawn sideways into the clay. By changing the signs and using them together, other words could be made. This meant they could write sentences. As time passed, the pictures looked less and less like the objects they represented. Because of the shape of the reed pen, the pictures were turned into wedge-shaped symbols. (You may wish to cut a plastic straw at an angle as a representation of a reed pen. Show the wedge shape to the children.)This kind of writing is called cuneiform

(q-Nee-a-form) which means wedge-shaped. (Allow the children to say cuneiform a few times.) Cuneiform writing is the earliest known form of writing. Ask: Why do you think writing is an important part of a civilization? (Allow children to respond. Guide them to conclude that writing enabled the people to record their history.)

Say: Over many years, other cities began to grow in the Mesopotamian region. The city of Babylon began to be built more than 4,000 years ago, along the banks of the Euphrates River. (Locate Babylon on the map "Early Civilizations." It is denoted with a dark dot.) Babylon was just one of several cities that made up the country of Babylonia. The people of Babylon also used canals to help water their crops. They made maps, used numbers, had their own language and adopted the cuneiform system of writing.

Say: Babylonia had a king named Hammurabi (ha-mur-AH-bee). After several wars, Hammurabi became the ruler of all of Mesopotamia. During the time that Hammurabi was king, great things happened in Babylonia. Art, literature, science, and religious beliefs all were developed. Libraries were built to hold the cuneiform tablets. These tablets became the first "books." Rules and laws became very important to the people of Babylonia. Ask: Why do you BCP DRAFT WORLD CIV 99

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think a civilization needs rules and laws? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: King Hammurabi ordered that the rules and laws be written down. This collection of laws is called the Code of Hammurabi. A copy of the code, written in cuneiform, was discovered in 1901. It was written on a slab of rock nearly eight feet high. (Measure and mark eight feet on the floor with a yard stick.) The Code of Hammurabi can be seen today at a museum in Paris, France.

Say: Hammurabi ruled for many years. He gave his personal attention to such details as cleaning the canals. He was also a talented religious leader. During the rule of Hammurabi and his son who ruled after him, Babylonian civilization reached the peak of its development and power.

Say: There were other great civilizations besides those in Mesopotamia. We will learn about another ancient civilization located in Africa in our next lesson.

Suggested Follow-Up Activities

Allow the children to make their own picture writing. Provide each child with a small amount of modeling clay. Direct the children to flatten the clay into a slab. Using a sharp pencil, the children can draw symbols to represent a simple statement.

You may wish to read aloud Gilgamesh the King (retold and illustrated by Ludmila Zeman). This picture book retelling of the god-man who learns what it means to be human, was first told by the Sumerians.You may wish to read the book yourself prior to sharing it with the children to see if you have any concerns with the fact the Enkidu and Shamhat "explored the ways of love together."

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First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 39

Objectives

Review location of Africa, Sahara Desert, Nile River and Mediterranean Sea.

Locate Egypt.

Explain the importance of the Nile River to ancient Egyptian civilization.

Materials

A classroom size world map

"Early Civilizations" map started in Lesson 37

A purple crayon

A small baking dish or aluminum foil pan (8 x 11)

A large baking dish or aluminum foil pan (9 x 13)

Dirt or potting soil

Water

Pitcher

One of the read aloud titles suggested below

A package of quick growing seeds (marigold, lima bean, etc.) (optional)

Two containers for planting seeds (optional)

Sand (optional)

Suggested Titles

Teacher Resources

Aldred, Cyril. A Coloring Book of Ancient Egypt. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books, 1994.

Ready-to-color line drawings of ancient Egypt are included in this publication. See Lesson 38 for the address of this publisher.

Appelbaum, Stanley. Life in Ancient Egypt Coloring Book. Mineola, NY: Dover Publishing, 1989.

Detailed, full-page line drawings of the arts, crafts, architecture, and daily life of ancient Egypt are included in this publication. Available through Dover Publications, 31 East Second Street, Mineola, NY 11501.

Hart, George. Ancient Egypt. New York: Knopf, 1990.

From the "Eyewitness Books" collection, this book contains many pictures that depict the art, culture, and daily life of ancient Egypt.

Mailbox Magazine. Primary April/May 1997.

This issue contains several pages of information and ideas about Egypt including a page of hieroglyphics.

Mailbox Magazine. Intermediate August/September 1994.

This issue, intended for older students, contains several pages of information about Egypt that can be adapted to the first grade level.

Read Aloud

dePaola, Tomie. Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile. New York: Putnam, 1987.

A wonderful read-aloud that introduces the Nile, mummies, sarcophaguses, and more.

Mike, Jan M. Gift of the Nile. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1993.

An ancient Egyptian legend about true and honest friendship, this book is suitable for reading aloud.

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Procedure

Direct attention to the map "Early Civilizations." Review the location of Africa, the Sahara Desert, the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea. Say: Today we are going to begin some lessons about a civilization that was located in Africa.

Ask: What are some of the things that make a civilization? (A civilization is a group of people who build cities, read and write, have a religious belief, have rules and laws, a written language, literature and art.)

Ask: Why was the region known as Mesopotamia a good place for a civilization to grow? (The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers provided rich soil suitable for farming.)

Direct attention to the classroom size world map. Point to the Nile River. Say: Africa is home to a very important river called the Nile. The Nile River starts in the middle of Africa. It flows northward from high lakes and passes through the Sahara Desert. It ends in the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile River is the longest river in the world.

Point to the Sahara Desert. Say: Not only does Africa have the longest river, it also has the largest desert in the world. Ask: Do you know what it is like in a desert? (Allow children to respond.) Say: A desert is a very dry place. Very little rain falls and it is hot and sandy. Ask: Do you think a desert would be a good place to live? (Allow children to tell why a desert would not be a suitable place to live.) Ask: Where do you think the ancient civilization of Africa was located? (Allow the children to speculate.)

Say: The Nile River provided rich land for farming. The earliest civilization of Africa was located along the Nile River in a country called Egypt. Ancient Egypt was a long, narrow country divided in half by the Nile River. Food was grown along the banks of the river in rich soil. (Locate Egypt on the map "Early Civilizations." Explain that the dark line represents the current political boundary of Egypt. The dashed line represents the area known as Ancient Egypt. Direct the children to color the area within the dashed line representing ancient Egypt with a purple crayon. Instruct the class to color over the green coloring previously completed in Lesson 37.)

Say: At nearly the same time as the civilizations of Mesopotamia were growing, people of Africa were also building great civilizations. These people were known as the ancient Egyptians. Say: Egypt is often called the "Gift of the Nile." Ask: Can you guess why Egypt was given this name? (Allow speculation.) Say: Egypt is called the "Gift of the Nile" because if the Nile River did not run through Egypt, the country would be a hot desert with very little water. There probably would not have been a civilization located here without the presence of the Nile River.

Say: Every year, in July, flood waters from the south burst the Nile's northern banks and soaks the hard, dry ground. The flood lasts several weeks. The ancient Egyptians discovered how to save enough of this flood water to last the whole year. They cut canals and ditches which stored the water and carried it to the fields. The Nile provided not only water for their crops, but also much of their food. They used nets to trap wild ducks, geese and other water birds. They caught many kinds of fish from the river. Say: Let's see how the flooding of the Nile River made the sandy soil of Africa rich and fertile for farming.

The teacher will conduct the following demonstration.

1. Fill the small baking dish with a few handfuls of dirt or potting soil. Tell the children that the soil represents the bottom of the Nile.

2. Pour a little water over the dirt. Tell the children the water represents the water of the Nile River.

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3. Place the small baking dish into the larger baking dish. The larger baking dish represents the dry, sandy soil of the desert.

4. Tell the children that each spring the sun melts the snow of the high mountain ranges of East Africa where the Nile originates. (You may wish to locate these mountains on the world map.)

As the snow melts, it turns into water that travels through streams that empty into the Nile. The river becomes swollen with water. By the time the water reaches upper Egypt the water bursts out of its banks and floods the land.

5. Pour water into the small baking dish until it overflows into the larger dish.

6. Set the large dish aside. Tell the children that the sun heats the flooded water and causes it to evaporate, leaving behind only the rich soil from the bottom of the Nile. (Allow the large dish to dry in a sunny window. Examine the dish later to show how the soil is all that is left in the dish. Firm up that this rich soil is what is used for farming. You may wish to further this experiment by proving rich soil is more suitable for farming than sand. Plant one group of seeds in potting soil and the other group in sand. Compare the rate of growth of each group.)

Say: Everything in ancient Egypt depended on the overflowing of the Nile. The water left rich, moist soil for ten miles on each side. (Refer to the map "Early Civilizations." The dashed line for Ancient Egypt shows the ten-mile mark.) Since it is very warm all year in Egypt, lots of crops could be grown. Being able to grow crops in one place meant that the people no longer had to move around. They could stay and build villages and cities. It was the overflowing Nile that let the Egyptians start their civilization. The Nile truly was a gift to the people of Egypt.

Conclude this lesson by reading one of the suggested read aloud titles.

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First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 40

Objectives

Define pharaoh.

Identify Tutankhamen and Hatshepsut.

Identify mummies as characteristic evidence of the ancient Egyptian culture.

Materials

One of the titles listed below to show pictures of mummies

One of the titles below to read aloud

A piece of white drawing paper (12 x 18) one per student

A piece of tagboard (5 x 12) one per student

Mummy Case patterns for students to trace (attached)

Mummy patterns for students to trace (attached)

A photocopy of King Tut's death mask (attached) one per student

Crayons or markers

Several rolls of cloth bandage or a roll or two of toilet paper

Glue

Suggested Titles

Teacher Resources

Aldred, Cyril. Tut-Ankh-Amun and His Friends. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books, 1995.

Ready-to-color line drawings of some of ancient Egypt's most famous people. See Lesson 38 for the address of this publisher.

National Geographic Magazine published three issues about Tut and Ancient Egypt: October 1963, January 1974, and March 1977.

Putnam, James. Mummy. New York: Knopf, 1993.

From the "Eyewitness Books" series, this book has fascinating photographs of artifacts from Egypt and other cultures that practiced mummification.

Reeves, Nicholas. Into the Mummy's Tomb: The Real Life Discovery of Tutankhamun's Treasures. New York: Scholastic, 1993.

Intended for older readers, however, it can be adapted and retold. The color illustrations and photographs are excellent.

Smith, A.G. Egyptian Punch-Out Mummy Case. Mineola, NY: Dover Publishing, 1993.

An historically accurate mummy sarcophagus, 11 x 4 x 3 inches assembled. See Lesson 39 for the address of this publisher.

Read Aloud

Aliki. Mummies Made in Egypt. New York: HarperCollins, 1979.

This Reading Rainbow selection is an excellent read-aloud choice for this unit. If you have access to this episode of Reading Rainbow, show it!

Climo, Shirley. The Egyptian Cinderella. New York: Harper, 1989.

In this version of Cinderella, set in Egypt, a slave girl eventually comes to be chosen by the pharaoh to be his queen.

Donnelly, Judy. Tut's Mummy: Lost . . . and Found. New York: Random House, 1988.

Suitable for reading aloud, this book gets across a lot of information about ancient Egypt. BCP DRAFT WORLD CIV 104

First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 40

Procedure

Ask: Who remembers why Egypt is often called the "Gift of the Nile"? (Review Lesson 39--The Nile provides rich soil and water for farming. Without the Nile, Egypt would be a hot, dry land.)

Say: The Egyptians enjoyed their life along the Nile. The people of power and importance lived in large, beautiful houses. They enjoyed dressing up and wearing wigs. Women wore jewelry, perfume, and makeup. Men wore loincloths or kilts, a kind of wraparound skirt, and shirts much like today's T-shirts. The women wore shawls and sheer ankle-length dresses. Most people had pets. Cats, dogs and monkeys were the most popular. Singing, music and dancing were favorite entertainments.

Say: People of lesser power lived in small mud-brick houses that were close together. They cooked in kitchen yards outside their homes. They ate mostly vegetables, bread, and dried fish. It seems that no one in ancient Egypt went hungry.

Say: The ruler of the people of ancient Egypt was called the pharaoh. The pharaoh owned all the land and ruled over all the people. There were many different pharaohs during the growth of the Egyptian civilization. Most pharaohs were men, but there was one woman pharaoh. Her name was Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut became the pharaoh when her husband died. Her husband was pharaoh, and when he died his son was just a baby and too young to become the next pharaoh. Hatshepsut was appointed the pharaoh just until the boy was old enough to take over the responsibility. But Hatshepsut was a woman of great determination. For twenty years, until the time of her death, she ruled Egypt with all the power of a pharaoh. She was the first woman in Egyptian history to fill this role.

Say: When the baby boy grew up, Hatshepsut was very happy being the pharaoh. This greatly angered the boy. Ask: Why do you think the boy was angry with Hatshepsut? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: He was angry because he wanted to be the one true pharaoh. Hatshepsut overshadowed the boy giving the young king only a small role in ruling Egypt. When Hatshepsut died, the boy, who now was a man and the true pharaoh, ordered the removal of Hatshepsut's name from all of the temples on which it had been written. Ask: Why do you think he ordered this? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: He tried to erase the memory of Hatshepsut. Despite this, Hatshepsut lives in history as one of the greatest women of all times and a powerful leader. Ask: Has there ever been a woman president of the United States? (Allow discussion about why not.)

Say: Many years later another pharaoh ruled Egypt. His name was Tutankhamen. People of today nicknamed him "King Tut." Tutankhamen became the pharaoh when he was about nine years old. Imagine ruling an entire country when you're only a boy! Tutankhamen died when he was only eighteen years old. Although he was not a particularly important pharaoh, he is well-known today because his burial site contained fabulous treasures.

Say: When a pharaoh died his body was taken by a priest and prepared for burial. First, the brain and internal organs were removed and placed in special "canopic" (ca-NOH-pic) jars. Then the body was soaked in a special liquid to preserve it. Next the body was wrapped in many layers of cloth bandages. Sometimes a death mask of precious metal was put over the face. We call a body that has been treated like this a "mummy." Some Egyptian mummies still exist in museums today. (Allow children who have seen mummies at a museum describe their experience.)

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Say: Ancient Egyptians believed that a pharaoh buried in grand style would continue to bless his people. This inspired the people to build great monuments, called pyramids, to their pharaohs. When the mummy of the dead pharaoh was ready, it was taken by boat down the Nile to the pyramid. The Egyptians believed in life after death. So gold ornaments, tools, furniture, pottery, food and a great many other useful things were placed in the burial room with the mummy. These were things that the Egyptians thought they would need in the next life.

Ask: What are some of the things that are important to people today that might be included in the burial room? (Allow children to respond.)

Say: King Tut's burial chamber contained weapons, furniture, jewelry, thrones, vases, statues, musical instruments, clothing, and model boats- - -many of which were made of solid gold. Four mummy cases protected the mummy. The third mummy case was made from almost 2,500 pounds of gold! That's as heavy as a full-grown elephant!

Conclude the lesson by showing pictures and reading captions from one of the books listed above under the teacher resource section. Read one of the books listed above under the read aloud section.

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

Recreate King Tut's mummy case.

1. Distribute the large sheet of drawing paper to each student.

2. Instruct the children to fold the drawing paper in half.

3. Model how to trace the mummy case onto the drawing paper (see illustration).















4. Distribute the mummy case patterns and assist the students in correctly tracing the pattern onto their folded drawing paper.

5. Instruct the children to cut out the mummy case. When cut correctly the case will open and close.

6. Distribute the photocopy of King Tut's death mask. Provide pictures from the books listed above of King Tut's mummy case. (Mummy "Eyewitness Books" by James Putnam is an excellent source.)

7. Instruct the children to color King Tut's death mask and decorate his mummy case.

8. Distribute one piece of tagboard (5 x 12) to each student.

9. Provide mummy patterns for the students to trace. Students will trace and cut out the mummy pattern on their own piece of tagboard.

10. Provide toilet tissue or cloth bandage rolls for the students to wrap their tagboard mummy. Glue may be used as needed.

11. Tell the children to glue the mummy into the mummy case.

Show the Reading Rainbow episode of "Mummies Made in Egypt" if you have access to it.

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King Tut's death mask Mummy
(photocopy one mask per student) (provide patterns for the students to trace)


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First Grade - World Civilization - Lesson 41

Objectives

Identify the characteristics of the ancient Egyptian culture and society (pyramids, sphinx, animal gods).

Review the importance of writing (hieroglyphics) to the development of a civilization.

Materials

A selection of some of the books listed below to read aloud and to use for illustrations

A box or two of sugar cubes (optional)

Tagboard squares (optional) one per student

A sample of hieroglyphic writing (optional)

Suggested Titles

Teacher Resources

Kids Discover Magazine "Pyramids," 1993.

This magazine is designed for children ages 7 to 12. Each issue is devoted to a single topic. The illustrations and photographs are excellent. Back issues are available. This publisher can be contacted at (212) 242-5133.

Putnam, James. Pyramid. New York: Knopf, 1993.

From the "Eyewitness Books" series, this book includes a few pyramids from outside Egypt but concentrates on those around the Nile.

Roehrig, Catherine. Fun With Hieroglyphics. New York: Viking, 1990.

This is an activity kit that includes twenty-four rubber stamps and a book explaining the meaning and practice of writing through hieroglyphics.

Smith, A.G. and Josie Hazen. Cut and Make Egyptian Masks. Mineola, NY: Dover Publishing, 1993.

This booklet of five authentic masks is ready to cut and assemble. Masks include King Tut, the jackal god Anubis and the falcon god Horus. See Lesson 39 for the address of this publisher.

Read Aloud

Clements, Andrew. Temple Cat. New York: Clarion, 1996.

This is a wonderful read-aloud story about a cat who grows tired of being worshiped as a god and escapes into the world beyond the temple. Beautiful illustrations convey a lot of information about ancient Egypt.

Gerrard, Roy. Croco'Nile. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994.

Two children travel throughout Egypt on the back of a crocodile. Views of city life alternate with locales along the Nile to present impressions of ancient times. Secret hieroglyphic messages are hidden in the watercolor illustrations.

Macaulay, David. Pyramid. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1975.

Easy to understand text and detailed drawings explain the construction process of an imaginary pyramid.

Paton, Jill. Pepi and the Secret Names. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994.

This picture book clarifies hieroglyphics, ancient royal customs, and beliefs. It is suitable for reading aloud.

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Steele, Philip. I Wonder Why Pyramids Were Built and Other Questions About Ancient Egypt. New York: Kingfisher, 1995.

Written in question-and-answer format, this book answers many interesting questions about ancient Egypt.

 

Procedure

Ask: Who remembers what the word pharaoh means? (The pharaoh was the ruler of the people of ancient Egypt. The pharaoh owned all the land and ruled over all the people.) Ask: Can you remember the names of the two pharaohs we have learned about? (Tutankhamen and Hatshepsut.)

Ask: Do you remember what a mummy is? (A mummy is a preserved body.)

Say: The ancient Egyptians believed that after they died a new life began. They believed that once a person died his or her body should be prepared for the next life. It was thought that the souls of the dead were carried across a river into the Next World. Ancient Egyptians believed that everlasting life took place in a paradise known as the Field of Reeds. It was believed that life after death was very similar to life on earth. Therefore, the dead had to be protected and preserved for the next life. Making the body into a mummy was just one way of protecting it for the next life. The ancient Egyptians built great buildings to protect a pharaoh's mummy in its burial room. These magnificent buildings are called pyramids. The pyramid covered a pharaoh's burial room.

Show pictures of pyramids from some of the books listed above.

Say: Egypt's pyramids are the oldest stone buildings in the world. They were built nearly five thousand years ago. The pyramids were built for the Egyptian pharaohs. Common people were not buried in such an elaborate way. Noblemen were buried under rectangular stone tombs called mastabas (MAS-tuh-buhz) and poor people were buried in the sand. Even these people were mummified, and their families prepared their bodies for the Next World as best they could.

Say: The pharaohs wanted their bodies to last forever, so they had pyramids built to protect their bodies after death. More than eighty pyramids still stand today. Each pyramid housed a pharaoh's preserved body. It held all the things he would need in the next life to continue living as he had when he was alive.

Ask: Do you remember some of the things that were found in King Tut's burial room? (weapons, furniture, thrones, jewelry, etc.)

Say: The pyramids were built in the desert where the land could not be farmed. They had to be built close to the Nile so boats could carry the stones to the construction site. And they had to be built high above the level of the river so no damage would occur when the Nile flooded each year. Building a pyramid was very difficult. It required thousands of workers. (Read from one of the books listed above about the construction process of a pyramid.)

Say: The first pyramid was built out of stone. It is known as the Step Pyramid. (Show a picture of the Step Pyramid from one of the sources listed above.) Like all pyramids, the Step Pyramid had two purposes. It was the pharaoh's tomb and it was also a temple for worshiping the spirit of the dead pharaoh. The Great Pyramid at Giza is the largest of the three Giza pyramids built for three pharaohs and their queens. It was made of more than two million blocks of stone and stands 480 feet high! There is a statue that stands guard next to the pyramids at Giza. It is

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called the Great Sphinx. It has a lion's body and a man's head. It is believed to represent the spirit of pharaoh Khafre who is buried under the pyramid. (Show a picture of the Great Sphinx from one of the sources listed above.)

Say: Pyramids were frequently robbed in ancient times. Ask: Why do you think the pyramids were robbed? (Allow children to respond.) Say: The many treasures placed in the pyramids were of great value. Thieves would rob the tombs for the valuable things placed inside with the pharaoh's mummy. False passages, solid doors, and fake burial rooms were added to the pyramids to try and confuse robbers. However, nearly all the pyramids were robbed of their treasures.

Ask: What else could be done to stop robbers from stealing the treasures of the pyramids? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: Pharaohs that ruled later were aware that robbers had taken the treasures from most of the earlier pyramids. They decided to have their burial rooms built in cliffs, high steep openings in rocks, far from the earlier pyramids. (Locate the pyramids on the map "Early Civilizations." The triangle shapes represent the pyramids of Giza and the dark dot south of the triangles represents The Valley of the Kings.) Say: This area is known as The Valley of the Kings. Sixty-two tombs have been found here. However, most of these tombs were robbed, also. King Tut's tomb was found at The Valley of the Kings site. Remember it had not been robbed.

Say: The Egyptians worshiped hundreds of gods and goddesses as part of their religion. Many had human bodies and animal heads. Egyptians believed that the pharaoh became a god when he died. The Sun god, Ra, ruled over all of them. Pictures of the gods and goddess of ancient Egypt were painted on the walls of the burial rooms.

Say: The ancient Egyptians also had a written symbol language. Ask: Do you remember the name of the writing used by the people of Mesopotamia? (cuneiform) Ask: How did they write? (They wrote in wet clay with a reed pen.) Ask: Why is writing an important part of a civilization? (Writing enabled the people to record their history.)

Say: The ancient Egyptians developed a type of writing called hieroglyphics. They carved or painted the characters--known as hieroglyphs--on monuments, walls, and tombs. Each of the characters stood for an object, an idea, or a sound. (Show examples of hieroglyphics to the children. Mailbox magazine Primary April/May 1997 and Mailbox Intermediate Aug./Sept. 1994 both have nice examples that could be duplicated for the students.)

Say: The Egyptians first wrote by carving on stone. But then they invented the perfect material for writing on. Ask: What do you think this material would be? (Allow speculation) Say: They invented a type of paper! It is called papyrus and is almost like the paper we use today. Somehow the ancient Egyptians discovered a process that turned a fifteen-foot-high plant that grew along the Nile into "paper." Our word paper comes from the word papyrus. Imagine how much faster they were able to write if they didn't have to carve into stone any longer!

Say: However, by carving a person's name in stone on a tomb or monument, the Egyptians believed that they were helping to keep that person "alive." Erasing the name made the person disappear. Ask: Do you remember which pharaoh's name was removed from all the monuments and tombs? (Hatshepsut) Why? (The man who wanted to be the one true pharaoh was angry with her for not allowing him to become the true pharaoh once he was old enough to take over the duty.)



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Say: There are many things about these people and their lives that are still a mystery. Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt were not the only two early civilizations. There were other people living in different parts of the world that were also building great civilizations. You will learn about other early civilizations next year.

Conclude the lesson by reading and sharing some of the other books listed above.

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

Allow the children to experiment with hieroglyphics. Provide samples of hieroglyphic symbols and assist children in replicating them on paper.

Create a step pyramid from sugar cubes. (Idea adapted from Mailbox Magazine Primary April/May, 1997.) Provide each student with one small sheet of tagboard, a handful or two of sugar cubes, and glue. Instruct the children to construct a sugar cube pyramid on the sheet of tagboard. Demonstrate how a bottom layer must be laid out and glued to the tagboard before the next level can be added.

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Bibliography

Read Aloud Titles

*Aliki. Mummies Made in Egypt. New York: HarperCollins, 1979.

*Clements, Andrew. Temple Cat. New York: Clarion, 1996.

*Climo, Shirley. Egyptian Cinderella. New York: Harper, 1989.

*dePaola, Tomie. Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile. New York: Putnam, 1987.

*Donnelly, Judy. Tut's Mummy: Lost . . . and Found. New York: Random House, 1988.

*Gerrard, Roy. Croco'Nile. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994.

*Macaulay, David. Pyramid. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975.

*Mike, Jan M. Gift of the Nile. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1993.

*Paton, Jill. Pepi and the Secret Names. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994.

*Steele, Philip. I Wonder Why Pyramids Were Built and Other Questions About Ancient Egypt. New York: Kingfisher, 1995.

*Zeman, Ludmila retold and illustrated by. Gilgamesh the King. Plattsburg, NY: Tundra Books, 1992.

Teacher Resources

*Aldred, Cyril. A Coloring Book of Ancient Egypt. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books, 1994.

*________. Tut-Ankh-Amun and His Friends. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books, 1995.

*Appelbaum, Stanley. Life in Ancient Egypt Coloring Book. Mineola, NY: Dover Publishing, 1989.

*Calliope Magazine, "Mesopotamia" September/October 1993.

*Kids Discover Magazine, "Pyramids" 1993.

*Mailbox Magazine. Primary, April/May 1997.

*Mailbox Magazine. Intermediate, August/September 1994.

*National Geographic Magazine. October 1963, January 1974, March 1977.

*Pofahl, Jane. Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia. T.S. Denison and Company, 1993.

*Putnam, James. Mummy. New York: Knopf, 1993.

*________. Pyramid. New York: Knopf, 1993.

*Reeves, Nicholas. Into the Mummy's Tomb: The Real Life Discovery of Tutankhamun's Treasures. New York: Scholastic, 1993.

*Roehrig, Catherine. Fun With Hieroglyphics. New York: Viking, 1990.

*Smith, A.G. Egyptian Punch-Out Mummy Case. Mineola, NY: Dover Publishing, 1993.

*Smith, A.G. and Josie Hazen. Cut and Make Egyptian Masks. Mineola, NY: Dover Publishing, 1993.

*The Ancient Near East: A Bellerophon Coloring Book. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books, 1992.

Thomson, Ruth. The Egyptians. Chicago: Children's Press, 1995.

*indicates annotation in a lesson