Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Pharaoh Phonetics
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Procedures for Teachers is divided into four sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the Lesson.
Steps -- Conducting the Lesson.
Extensions -- Extending the Lesson.
Tips -- Managing Resources and Student Activities.


  • Art supplies to create scarabs, cartouches, canopic jars, and other "artifacts" that would be found in an Egyptian tomb.
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes (8) which can be used to create the outside of the sarcophagus by removing two sides and joining 6 boxes end-to-end; boxes that copy paper comes in are a good size to use)
  • Brown craft paper (1 roll) this can be use to cover the corrugated box prior to decorating and also used to simulate papyrus paper for creating hieroglyphic panels to decorate the "tomb."
  • Modeling clay (assorted colors) for creating scarabs.
  • Chart of hieroglyphic symbols (can be printed from websites listed in the Bookmarks section and colored by hand if a color printer is not available).
Computer Resources:


You will need at least one multimedia computer workstation with Internet access. We recommend, as a minimum, using Macintosh Power PC series running System 8.1 or higher, or a Pentium PC running Windows 95 or higher. We also recommend a minimum modem speed of 56K.

It is recommended that you use a Java capable browser like Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above. The Internet plug-ins Shock Wave, Flash (, and RealPlayer (, should be added to your Internet browser to view certain websites. You will also need the latest version of Quicktime and the associated browser plugins.

Any Word Processing Program (i.e., MS Word, AppleWorks, etc.) with Draw/Paint capability can be used for recording vocabulary lists and creating hieroglyphic messages. MS Powerpoint or HyperStudio can be used by students to add a multimedia presentation to their final project. For more information on how to use these programs, see wNetSchool's HyperStudio or PowerPoint Tutorials.

For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.

Before you begin the following sites should be bookmarked:

Teacher Resources
These resources provide background information on the study of Ancient Egypt as well as specific directions for a variety of hands on activities

  • Vocabulary for Ancient Egypt

    A comprehensive list of vocabulary words and definitions.

  • Make Your Own Relief

    Want to make the walls of your class tomb resemble those found in the pyramids? Follow the directions.

  • Ancient Egypt

    Classroom activities and resources from Urbana Middle School.

  • Build a Tomb Activity - Discovery Channel School
    Working collaboratively, students investigate and construct a pyramid. This hands on multidisciplinary project explores the history, astronomy, archaeology, and mathematical puzzles of the pyramids.

    Student Organizers
    There are many links that appear in the student organizers. You should preview them, not only to become familiar with their contents, but also to insure they are appropriate for your students' grade level and ability.

    For the Word Up! organizer bookmark the following:

  • British Museum - Ancient Egypt

    Choose "Writing" for background information about hieroglyphics, an exploration and a challenge to test students understanding. A very interactive site appropriate for students in grades 4-6. A source for further study of Ancient Egypt based on the seven social sciences. This site requires the Flash plugin.

  • NOVA Online/Pyramids/Hot Science: Say What?

    More detailed information about hieroglyphics, Egyptian scribes and the pyramids.

  • Hieroglyphs

    More detailed explanations. Includes links to some colorful downloadable GIF's of hieroglyphic symbols.

  • Hieroglyphic Translator from the Royal Ontario Museum (UNFPA)

  • Egyptian Name Translator

  • Hieroglyphic Symbols

    Black and white symbols that can be cut and pasted into a word processing or draw document.

    For the Count on it! organizer bookmark the following:

  • Egyptian Mathematics

  • Egyptian Calculator

  • Mark Millmore's Egyptian Calculator

  • Math Problems for Middle Schoolers

    Answers to the quiz can be found at Answers for Math Problems

    For the Mummy Mine organizer bookmark the following:

  • Coffin Art

  • Faces of the Dead

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art of Ancient Egypt

  • Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids

    For the Tomb Away From Home organizer bookmark the following:

  • Royal Ontario Museum
    A virtual tour of the museum's Egyptology exhibit includes sculptures, wall reliefs, and other artifacts.

  • NOVA Online - Pyramids
    A Quicktime VR tour of Khufu's pyramid.

  • Ask an Egyptologist
    A Quicktime VR tour of Khufu's pyramid.

  • Ancient Egypt Quiz from the Royal Ontario Museum

    For the Just For Fun organizer bookmark the following:

  • TIME Magazine: Valley of The Lost Tombs,3266,30220,00.html
    Article about a recent archaeological dig and the items discovered.

  • Pieces of the Past - Archaeology on the Net

  • Ask the Archaeologist

  • Games of Ancient Egypt
    Links to games you can download. PC and Mac available

  • Mancala Web v. 2.0
    Online version of the game.

  • A Little Egyptian Reading Book

  • Tomb of the Pharaoh
    A virtual hieroglyphic matching game. Note: the hieroglyphocs do not necessarily represent the objects


    Students should have some familiarity with the Internet and how to utilize a Web browser. They should also have know how to use a word processing program and a draw or paint tool.

    Time Allotment

    This lesson can be part of a more comprehensive unit that would include exploration of each of the seven social sciences (Economics, Sociology, Psychology, History, Anthropology, Geography, and Political Science) as they relate to Ancient Egypt. This lesson could easily address several.

    Allow three to five days for each of the student organizers and one to two weeks for the hands on project depending on the ability level of your students and the size and detail of the display.


  • Word Up!

    This organizer will provide the foundation for the students understanding through their exploration of Internet resources. Have students develop a vocabulary list as they research how writing developed, what are the elements of hieroglyphics, and the meaning of hieroglyphic representation. The interactive British Museum site provides students with a story, exploration, and a challenge to begin this introduction. (This site requires the Flash plug-in.) Additional sites listed on the student organizer will provide further information. Choose the sites that are grade and ability appropriate for your students and customize the student organizer accordingly.

    Students will also have the opportunity to write names and words using online hieroglyphic translators. Use cut and paste editing techniques to import hieroglyphics graphics into word processing, drawing and/or painting software programs or desktop publishing documents to be used in student to student messages or classroom decorations. These will be used later in decorating the class tomb project. Students can optionally send email messages using the composite graphic files as attachments.

  • Count On It!

    Students will learn about "what counted" in ancient Egypt. What were Egyptian numerical representations? How did Egyptians calculate in daily life? Have students use the web site resources to find the answers to the student organizer questions. The students will be able to use the online numeric calculators to explore Egyptian mathematics and do hieroglyphic math problems. The answer sheet includes conversion of hieroglyphic numbers.

  • Mummy Mine

    What kind of artwork can be found in Egyptian burial chambers? Students will view mummy masks and the designs found on sarcophagi in preparation for their own construction project. Hands on activities provide students with an opportunity to create a connection between the concepts and the objects.

  • Tomb Away From Home

    Using an understanding of both hieroglyphics and the artifacts found in tombs, students will create a profile for an ancient Egyptian and construct that individual's burial chamber complete with mummy, sarcophagus, illustrated wall relief. Have students brainstorm as a whole class to develop the profile of the individual whose tomb they will be creating. Not all tombs were for royalty and you might want to share the profile of a more "common" citizen of ancient Egypt with the class to illustrate that point. Use corrugated cardboard boxes from copy paper or large Styrofoam blocks to create a sarcophagus. Use any variety of clay to create scarabs and mummy masks. Your initial project might include the creation of a mummy using plaster gauze strips. As this can be time consuming, you might want to save the mummy to use again in another sarcophagus. Consult the project resources for methods to create wall reliefs, masks, etc.

    After completion of the lesson, you might want to create your own virtual museum tour of the tomb" using quicktime VR technology. To learn more about VR, consult the QTVR Authoring FAQ at You may also want to try the Quicktime VR Online Tutorial ( to learn the techniques needed. When complete, post the tour on a project web page.

  • Just For Fun! (optional)

    Students may want to learn more about Egyptian tombs and how artifacts were uncovered. They can try their hand at solving archaeological mysteries or ask an archaeologist. They can also download some of the games that were played in Ancient Egypt, just for fun.


    The study of ancient history includes the study of several civilizations. Create a timeline around the room and decorate it with symbols of each civilization as they are studied. Look for evidence of each in contemporary life.

    What story do the Egyptian tombs tell? Have students learn about the Egyptian pyramids and artifacts discovered in the tombs through virtual tours and museum web sites. In addition students may "Ask an Egyptologist," by submitting their own question or consulting the question archives and take an online quiz to test their understanding. (see student organizer, A Tomb Away From Home).

    Learn about the excavation of ancient sites and the "art" of archaeology. (See optional student organizer, Just for Fun) You might want to go on a class archaeological expedition to local historic sites. For example, what could your student learn about hometown ancestors from gravestone rubbings at historic cemeteries?

    Try some ancient Egyptian games (see optional student organizer, Just For Fun). Download Senet or play Mancala online. What games do we have today that might have ancient roots? Have students design their own game patterned after one of these ancient pastimes.


    One Computer in the Classroom
    If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your class into two groups. Instruct one of the groups to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, etc., from the library for the group doing paper research. Lead the group working at the computer through an Internet search or allow the students in the class to take turns. (Always have a set of bookmarks ready for the students before they start working on the computer, in order to show them examples of what to look for.) When the groups have finished working have them switch places.

    If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.

    Several Computers in the Classroom
    Divide your class into small groups. Groups can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked sites.

    You can also set the class up so that each computer is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.

    Using a Computer Lab
    A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.

    Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used the lesson in your classroom.

    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students