March 20, 2012

Pyramids and Their Mummies

We spent the month of February looking at pyramids and mummies. I had these books on hand to use and all of them were fabulous. Each one gave the boys repeated info regarding the pyramids but from different angles thus making a more complete picture of the mystery of the pyramids.

  • Pyramid by David Macaulay (this book showed us how the pyarmids may have been built)
  • Fast Forward Pyramid (my boys favorite book because it has sort of a where's waldo aspect. On each page, which is richly illustrated, you get to look for a fat man, a monkey and a vulture. It takes you through the ages looking at the Giza pyramids as time passes.)
  • The Great Pyramid by Elizabeth Mann (the story of pyramids how they came about, what they mean, and the burial process of the ancient Egyptians)
  • Who Built the Pyramids? An Usborne book with internet links (an overview of the egyptians)
  • Secrets of the Sphinx by James Cross Giblin (beautiful illustrations and lots of great info on pyramids as well as the sphinx)
  • The Great Wonder by Annabelle Howard (a fun story about a modern boy who imagines he is present when the pyramids are built)
  • Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki (wonderfully inllustrated, with clear descritpions of the process and the meaning of mummification.)
We began our study by drawing a pryamid using Ralph Masiello's Ancient Egyptian Drawing Book and then mounting it onto yet another pocket. It looks like a simple drawing but the boys found that drawing jaggedy lines was not easy. After a few false starts we  finally got some great results. Don't they look old and crumbly? You may wonder why all our pyramids are red with gold cap stones....well in the Fast Forward Pyramid book (which we read first) is says that that is what the Ancient Egytians did. Later in Pyramid we learned many were also left white. But the capstone usually was gold.

Here are a few things we have in our pockets.

This little fold up book is from Evan Moor's Ancient Egypt History Pockets.

There are five different pages describing the general steps of how the pryamids were built.

Cover for the Great Giza Pyramid booklet. Also from Evan Moor's History Pockets.

Inside is a page detailing the passages inside the pyramid structure.

This another view of the tomb from the top, detaling what goes inside of the burial chambers. Also from Evan Moor.

The Great Sphinx Booklet aslo from Evan Moor.

This book contains information about the pryamids and the sphinx. I found the info on the internet somewhere and now I ahve lost it. I simply printed off the pages and bound the pages together by stapling the brown cover with the pages in between.

The copywork booklet below is bound with my pro-click binder. The cover art can be found here.

The copywork is from this source. It covers all the steps to mummify a corpse. I chopped off the extra paper around the edges to make the book smaller to fit in the pocket.

With these FREE montesorri cards of the seven wonders of the ancient world we played concentration. It was fun to note that both the light house at Alexandria and the pyramids at Giza are one of the seven wonders. The pictures in the orginal are all in color. I am still using a B&W printer though.

We did both 2D and 3D projects, but these two pyramids  from an e-book called The Pyramids of Egypt by Cross Eyed Curriculum and they just may cross over the 3-D/2-D line.  What I loved most about them is that they are joined together by rubber bands. So we can take them apart and slip them into our pockets once we are done with them. This was truely a delightful way to report on just about any pyramid you happen to be studying. The creative possiblities of these 3-D structures is inspiring. We all wanted to make more and more and more of them and just fill up the room with pyramids.
Here is a second look at a different angle.

Sugar cube pyramids.

Lastly, we made these punch out and glue together (we used clear tape. It works much better and far less messy) sarcophoguses and then paper mache'd a cheap action figure for the mummy.


  1. What a great unit study. I can't wait til fall when we are learning about ancient Egypt and the Mummies! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Cool unit about mummies. Nice work and keep up the good work