Ancient Egypt

Students explore the values, daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Egypt and compare them to those of society today, while exploring the evidence an author uses to support points in a text.

Unit Summary

In this unit, students explore ancient Egypt. Over the course of the unit students learn and explore different characteristics of ancient Egypt and what the ancient Egyptians valued. Through learning about the daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Egypt, students will be challenged to draw conclusions about what the civilization valued and how those values compare to society today. Students will also learn about the role that mummies and pyramids played in ancient Egyptian society and why archeologists and scientists have been intrigued by them ever since. In second and third grade, students will continue their exploration of ancient civilizations by learning more about ancient Greece and ancient Rome. It is our hope that this unit, in conjunction with the others in the sequence, will help students understand and appreciate early civilizations that have had a lasting impact on the world. 

In reading, this unit focuses on understanding the reasons and evidence an author uses to support points in a text. Being able to determine the reasons and evidence an author uses to support a point requires a deep understanding of cause and effect, informational text features, using illustrations to learn new details, and identifying the main topic and key details. These strategies have been introduced and practiced in previous units and should be reinforced and highlighted as needed in order to synthesize and identify the reasons an author uses to support points in a text. An additional focus of this unit is on using details from two texts to build a deeper understanding of content. Students will compare and contrast the similarities and differences between texts at the end of the unit but should be challenged to notice similarities and differences as they encounter new texts over the course of the unit. 

In writing, students will continue to write daily in response to the text. At this point students should be fluid in writing about the text in a structured way. Therefore, the focus of this unit is on pushing students to include the best and most accurate evidence and then to explain the evidence with inferences or critical thinking.

Texts and Materials

Core Materials

  • Book: Ancient Egypt by Penelope Arlon (Scholastic Reference, 2014)   —  750L

  • Book: The Ancient Egyptians by Jane Shuter (Hodder Wayland, 2008)   —  IG610L

  • Book: Hieroglyphs by Joyce Milton (Grosset & Dunlap, Book and Access edition, 2000)

  • Book: Tut's Mummy Lost... and Found by Judy Donnelly (Random House Books for Young Readers, 1988)   —  540L

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Assessment

This assessment accompanies Unit 4 and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • What was daily life like in ancient Egypt? How is it different from today? 
  • Why was the Nile River important to life in ancient Egypt? 
  • Why was ancient Egypt an example of a strong community?

Writing Focus Areas

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  • In unit 3, students began to focus on explaining their evidence and thinking through their written response. At this point many, students’ explanations might just be restatements of what they have already said. Therefore, the focus of this unit is to challenge students to go beyond factual restatements and to explain their evidence and thinking by including inferences or critical thinking. The other focus of this unit is to push students to move from finding just any evidence to finding the most relevant and accurate evidence to support their thinking. Finding the best evidence and being able to explain evidence using inferences and critical thinking go hand in hand. Therefore, students should be taught both together over the course of the unit. 
  • Similar to unit 3, all structure focus correction areas should have been taught. Therefore, depending on student data and needs, plan targeted review mini-lessons or conferencing to ensure all students reach a 4 by the end of the year.

Language Focus Areas

  • Spiral two or three based on student needs.

Writing-About-Reading Focus Areas

  • Correctly answers the question with an inference, critical thinking, or facts that show a basic understanding of the question or text 
  • Includes relevant and accurate evidence from the text 
  • Explains evidence and thinking by including inferences or critical thinking 
  • Uses vocabulary from content

Vocabulary

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Literary Terms

reasons, main topic, compare, contrast

Text-based

civilization, ancient, fertile, trade, crops, recede, duty, pharaoh, slave, scribe, mummy, value, translate, hieroglyphics, shrine, temples, preserve, rot, mummy, tomb, pyramid, discover, coffin, archaeologist, stubborn

Content Knowledge and Connections

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  • Identify ancient Egypt on a map. 
  • Identify the Nile River and explain the importance of the Nile River, floods, and farming. 
  • Define pharaoh
    • Tutankhamen. 
    • Hatshepsut, woman pharaoh.
  • Explain pyramids, mummies, animal gods, Sphinx, and their importance. 
  • Identify hieroglyphics and explain their importance. 
  • Describe the daily life, routines, and values of ancient Egyptians.

Intellectual Prep

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Build Background Knowledge

  • Research and learn about ancient Egyptian civilization. 
    • Role of the Nile River
    • The importance of pharaohs 
    • The role of pyramids and mummies and how they were formed 
    • Hieroglyphics and their importance 
    • Daily life and routines of ancient Egyptians 

Internalize the Text and Standards

  • Read all unit texts and notice evidence of unit priority standards and essential questions. 
  • Take unit assessment. 
  • Internalize unit priority standards (RI.1.8). What does it mean to identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text? How is this connected to previous standards? 
  • Determine a way to track information students are learning about the civilization across the entire unit. Consider making a civilizations chart where students can record new information as they learn about different aspects of the civilization. 
  • Prepare hands-on activities and projects to help students deepen their understanding of life in ancient Egypt. 
  • Find supplemental videos and images to help students visualize life in ancient Egypt. 
  • Determine a habits of discussion focus based on targeted speaking and listening standards. Plan how to introduce and reinforce the habit over the course of the unit.

Lesson Map

1

Discussion

  • Ancient Egypt pg. 8 – 9

    SL.1.2

Brainstorm questions about ancient Egypt by asking and answering questions about details previewed in class.

2

  • Ancient Egypt — pg. 10-11, 26-27

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain why the Nile River was important in ancient Egypt by using text features and illustrations to analyze the evidence an author includes to support a point.

3

  • The Ancient Egyptians pg. 6 – 9

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain why the Nile River was important in ancient Egypt by using text features and illustrations to analyze the evidence an author includes to support a point.

4

Project

    RI.1.2

    SL.1.4

    SL.1.5

Identify differences between modern day and Ancient Egypt and to model the differences by acting them out.

5

  • The Ancient Egyptians pg. 10 – 13

  • Ancient Egypt pg. 34 – 35

    RI.1.8

    RI.1.9

Explain what reasons an author gives to support the idea that pharaohs were an important part of Egyptian society by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

6

  • The Ancient Egyptians pg. 22 – 29

    RI.1.8

Describe how ancient Egyptians lived and what reasons the author gives to explain why they lived that way, by using illustrations and key details to identify reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

7

  • Ancient Egypt — pg. 46-47, 50-51, 52-53, 56-57

    RI.1.8

Explain what the Egyptians valued and the reasons the author gives to show what the Egyptians valued, by using illustrations and key details to identify reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

8

  • Ancient Egypt pg. 44 – 45

  • Hieroglyphs — pg. 6-11, 14-15, 22-23

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.7

Explain what hieroglyphics are used for and if hieroglyphics are similar to writing in English, by using words and illustrations to locate and analyze facts in a text.

9

Project

    SL.1.1

Participate in a hands-on activity to deepen understanding of hieroglyphics.

10

Writing

    W.1.1

    SL.1.1

Explain why you would or wouldn’t want to live in ancient Egypt, by writing an opinion piece that states an opinion and provides supporting reasons from the unit.

11

  • The Ancient Egyptians pg. 16 – 17

  • Ancient Egypt pg. 30 – 33

    RI.1.8

    RI.1.9

Explain that the Egyptians had many different gods and goddesses by using illustrations and key details to identify reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

12

  • The Ancient Egyptians pg. 18 – 19

  • Ancient Egypt pg. 62 – 65

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.7

    RI.1.9

Explain the different steps for making a mummy and why each step was important by describing the connection between events and information in the text.

13

  • The Ancient Egyptians pg. 20 – 21

  • Ancient Egypt pg. 66 – 71

    RI.1.8

Defend if pyramids were the safest place to store a pharaoh’s body, by using illustrations and key details to identify reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

14

Project

  • Project materials

    RI.1.2

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.4

Identify items found inside of a pyramid tomb and explain their importance to the Ancient Egyptians.

15

Writing

    W.1.1

    SL.1.1

Explain why you would or wouldn’t want to live in ancient Egypt, by writing an opinion piece that states an opinion and provides supporting reasons from the unit.

16

  • Tut's Mummy... — Chapter 1

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain if preparing a king for death was a quick and sad process by using illustrations and key details to identify reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

17

  • Tut's Mummy... — Chapter 2

    RI.1.2

    RF.1.4

Explain why the author would title the chapter “The Lost King,” by identifying the main topic and retelling key details.

18

  • Tut's Mummy... — Chapter 3

    RI.1.8

Describe how Howard Carter showed perseverance and determination, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

19

  • Tut's Mummy... — Chapters 4-5

    RI.1.3

Describe how people responded to the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, by describing the connection between pieces of information in a text.

20

Writing

    W.1.1

    SL.1.1

Explain why you would or wouldn’t have wanted to be there when they opened King Tut’s tomb, by writing an opinion piece that states an opinion and provides supporting reasons from the unit.

21

    W.1.1

Explain why you would or wouldn’t want to live in ancient Egypt, by writing an opinion piece that states an opinion and provides supporting reasons from the unit.

22

Discussion

  • All unit texts

    RI.1.9

    SL.1.1

Explain which source provided the most helpful information, by identifying basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic.

23

3 days

Project

  • All unit texts

  • Project materials

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.3

    SL.1.4

    SL.1.5

    SL.1.6

Act out aspects of daily life in Ancient Egypt by writing and performing skits and creating sets of the setting.

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.1.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.1.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.1.4 — Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

  • L.1.5 — With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  • L.1.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.1.2 — Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

  • RI.1.3 — Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

  • RI.1.7 — Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

  • RI.1.8 — Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

  • RI.1.9 — Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

  • RI.1.10 — With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.

Reading Standards: Foundational Skills
  • RF.1.4 — Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.1.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups

  • SL.1.2 — Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

  • SL.1.3 — Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.

  • SL.1.4 — Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

  • SL.1.5 — Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

  • SL.1.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.

Writing Standards
  • W.1.1 — Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.

  • W.1.2 — Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

  • W.1.5 — With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

  • W.1.8 — With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.