Teachers Network
Translate Translate English to Chinese Translate English to French
  Translate English to German Translate English to Italian Translate English to Japan
  Translate English to Korean Russian Translate English to Spanish
Lesson Plan Search
Our Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Popular Teacher Designed Activities
TeachNet NYC Directory of Lesson Plans TeachNet NYC Dirctory of Lesson Plans

Teachers Network Leadership Institute
How-To Articles
Videos About Teaching
Effective Teachers Website
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Teacher Research
For NYC Teachers
For New Teachers

TeachNet Grant:
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
Other Grant Winners
Math and Science Learning
Impact II
Grant Resources
Grant How-To's
Free Resources for Teachers
Our Mission
   Press Releases
   Silver Reel
   2002 Educational Publishers Award


New Teachers New York:
Lesson Plans by New Teachers, For New Teachers
Integrated Units-Ancient Egyptian Life


I taught a class of social studies students how to create a "visual representation" of their knowledge about life in Ancient Egypt. The social studies teacher of this class gave me a textbook on Egypt, enabling me to know what students already knew. After reading the textbook, I set short and intermediate goals for the students. 

Created by Billy Moro-Wey
Location: IS 53Q  in District 27
Grade: 6th grade
Subject: Arts

If you have any questions regarding this activity, please contact Billy at: morowey@earthlink.net

Students will be able to show or demonstrate their knowledge of Ancient Egyptian life and environ visually. 

  • Ancient Egypt by John Baines (any textbook that explores Egypt can be used).
  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Pencils: color and standard
  • Crayons
  • Pastels
  • Water-Based Paint
  • Brushes
  • Markers
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Glue Stick
  • Staples

Can students visualize their knowledge of Ancient Egyptian Life? The best way to help students retain their knowledge of anything is to help them recreate what they know visually. 
  1. I did a brainstorming exercise with the students to see how much they knew about Ancient Egypt (the students were already familiar with life in Egypt through the textbook and their social studies class)
  2. I gave a brief lecture on each of the topics (see the four topics below).

Following are four topics that portray lifestyles in Ancient Egypt:
  1. The Gods of Egypt
  2. The pyramids of Egypt and the environment
  3. The Sahara desert and the oases in Egypt. 
  4. The river Nile and life along the Nile.


  1. I began with a starter exercise: after familiarizing the students with the four topics and their learning objectives, I asked them to pick any of the four topics and explore it individually on short-term goal basis.
  2. I then split the class into 4 cooperative groups and assigned each group with one of the four topics in question. 
  3. I instructed each group to examine their respective topics in the textbook, paying attention to the pictorial elements in words and drawings in relation to their assigned topics. 
  4. We then had a session of quick drawings for about twenty minutes to prepare the students for the upcoming group projects. This exercise enabled the class to get to know their materials, how to apply them, and help them set their goals for the intermediate term.
  5. Group members reviewed their topic together.
  6. Each student drew, designed, and colored pictorial elements relating to the topics in question.
  7. Each pictorial element was cut out and the pieces from each group were assembled. Students then arranged and rearranged these elements on a large background construction paper until they arrived at a clear picture befitting their topic.
  8. Using glue stick, students pasted these pictorial elements on the large background paper and produce a final landscape.
  9. The final projects were mounted on black background paper.
  10. After works were mounted, each group was asked to critique their own work, as well as works by other groups.
  11. These criticisms enabled students to write about their group projects.

Student Assessment:
Criteria was set up for students' assessment of the four works, for example, drawing, composition, proportioning, good use of art materials and other resources, good finishing, neatness, and context. 

The student assessment was based on the following:
  1. Did the unit reflect students' understanding of what they read from the book?
  2. What was their visual perception and interpretation of what they read about Egypt?
  3. Were students able to correlate Ancient Egypt with the contemporary one?
  4. What was the quality of students' drawing and cut-outs?
  5. Did proportion play a significant role in the overall composition?
  6. What was the general outlook on composition and color harmony?
  7. Were the students involved in this unit satisfied with the outcome of their product?

Teachers' Notes:
The time period for this lesson depended on the intended size of the projects, but it could take between four to six periods of 45 minutes per period. 

The lessons were very practical, in an 'all hands on deck' way. Students were very eager to participate, knowing that the success of their projects depended upon each participant's honest contribution. 

Students discussed how working in cooperative grouping benefited them, and whether transforming their knowledge of Ancient Egyptian Life into visual images in any way increased their outlook on Egypt. They saw the joy of cooperative work, and the beneficial interaction involved in peer tutoring. The outcome was stunning, and there was great feedback from fellow students, faculty members, school staff, and visitors to the school.

Students were able to see that they could create a visual representation of any text they read from a book. They had a taste of what future job markets might require of them as 'team-players' in a corporate establishment. They discovered that group cooperative activity left a long lasting memory of what was learned, and made it easier for them to apply certain aspects of their knowledge to their daily life undertakings when necessary. The unit presented a clearer vision of what Ancient Egypt stood for to the students, because it was their own creation.


Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.


Journey Back to the Great Before