These eight interdisciplinary lessons, created in conjunction with the special exhibition GE Presents: The Mystery of the Albany Mummies are illustrated with images from the collections of the Albany Institute, maps, drawings, and hieroglyphic translations. They were designed to be used by teachers who work with students in grades 3-8, but may be of interest to homeschool groups, library resource specialists and informal educators of all kinds. They are accompanied by a glossary and a set of readings for students that introduce them to many aspects of daily life in Ancient Egypt.
These lessons use the collections of the Albany Institute of History & Art. They were created to be used in classrooms either as a unit of study or as stand-alone lessons. Although they were developed in this order with a sense of building upon each other, they are suitable to be used in any order or combination.
Building a Map of Egypt
This is a lesson to create a general awareness of the geography of ancient Egypt and the surrounding lands. Students will work to create, label, and color their own map, then answer a series of reflective and critical-thinking questions about the map and geography.
In this lesson, students will work in a jigsaw style to discover information about agriculture, the Nile River, clothing, housing, and specialized jobs of River Valley Egyptian Society. Working in five activity centers, with differentiated activities in each, students will work together to come to a greater understanding of life in this culture. Students will have combinations of images and readings to work with, answer critical thinking questions, and then develop an interdependence web to reflect the importance of the Nile River to this society.
This two-day lesson explores the importance of amulets to cultures, both modern and in ancient Egypt, by first looking at examples of amulets from Ancient Egypt, then delving into the meanings behind some of the colors and materials, finally creating and explaining individual amulets in class. This lesson uses a PowerPoint presentation to guide class, including pages from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website, as well as student-inspired creations.
Students will work with a series of decoding exercises to enhance their understanding of this difficult method for writing. Using hieroglyphics or picture words, students will attempt to read and then write words, finally using their skills to create a nameplate in hieroglyphs.
Students will work with images of artifacts to deepen their understanding of archaeology, and of ancient Egypt. During the lesson they will work in small groups to color, cut apart to create a puzzle, then recreate someone else’s puzzle (artifact) from the exhibition as part of an inquiry-based lesson on archaeology. They will have to develop an Artifact Analysis Worksheet to work on identifying the object.
Archaeology: Inquiry into the Past downloadable lesson
This lesson is a Document-Based Question (DBQ) developed around the theme of how Egyptian culture has made its way into American life, objects, architecture, symbolism (dollar bill, cemeteries, monuments, mummies, movies). There is an extension activity asking students to locate and photograph Egyptian influences in their communities.
This two-part lesson uses partnered reading to explore the story of Isis and Osiris. While working with a partner to read, the students will summarize each passage to develop understanding. When finished summarizing they will be given a story block page to draw a version of the story. This will demonstrate that they have read and have understanding, not just a rewritten summary.
This lesson is a WebQuest that uses specific Internet sites to enhance understanding of ancient Egyptian art, hieroglyphs, and design with a focus on the use of animals. Students will use these Internet sites to see many aspects of ancient Egyptian art that comes from collections around the world, but are united by the theme of animals. These may take the form of pets, beasts of burden, animals from the natural world, and of the supernatural.