Interpreting the Past

Ancient Egypt and the Near East Unit: Creating Illustrated Journals About Ancient Egyptian Daily Life

Assignments to hand in: Notes and Sketches About Egyptian Daily Life Graphic Organizer [PDF Version] | Making a Claim [PDF Version] | Illustrated Journal (See Guidelines, Rubric, and Student Examples below)

Essential Questions, shared learning target & introduction:

Essential Question 2: Why do people live the way they do?

What will I be able to do?: You will be able to describe many aspects of the daily life of ancient Egyptians. You will also be able to sketch or visually represent some of these daily life activities.
What idea, topic, or subject is important for you to learn and understand so that I can do this?: You will learn about how the ancient Egyptians lived their daily lives.
What I will do to show that you know this?: You will show what you know by completing a Notes and Sketch About Egyptian Daily LIfe graphic organizer and an Illustrated Journal.

Understanding Checks

Egypt & Hittite Empire Map
Egyptian and Hittite Empire Map

By the time of the New Kingdom, about 1554-1070 B.C.E., Egypt had become a powerful and stable empire. One of the most important factors that contributed to Egypt's stability was the concept of ma'at. Ma'at included a combination of ideas such as harmony with the universe, justice, order and peace. Egyptians believed that they must maintain ma'at for their world to remain safe and stable. Maintaining ma'at required different behavior from various groups in society. For ordinary people, ma'at meant they had to work hard and follow a path of social justice and moral righteousness. They also had to live in harmony with one another, with their surroundings, and with the Gods. For the pharoah, ma'at meant ruling wisely and well, so that order was maintained. In the New Kingdom, pharaohs often sought to maintain ma'at by expanding the Egyptian Empire into the Near East. This expansion brought them into conflict with the Hittites, a rival empire to the north. The Hittites were Indo-European peoples who moved into Anatolia (presented-day Turkey) around 1600 B.C.E. By 1178 B.C.E. they had established a well-fortified capital in Hattusa, with huge surrounding walls more than two miles long. The Hittites began to expand their empire to the west and the south, aided by their development of a technique for smelting iron that allowed them to create swords, chariots, and other weapons. Though they possessed a strong military, the Hittites preferred to extend their political power through peaceful negotiations and treaties rather than by use of force. However, if diplomacy failed, they were not reluctant to use their military strength.

Step 1: Researching Egyptian Daily Life

Directions: Read each aspect of ancient Egyptian daily life, then download the rough sketch image and finish it in an app, such as Sumo Paint. Insert your finished image in the corresponding space below. Also, write down at least three key or main ideas from the text.
Note - Your research is to completed with the understanding that you are a Hittite spy trying to gain information about the Egyptians. Your job is to inform your king about how they live and who the Egyptians are. Your notes will help you to create the illustrated journal.

Handout: Notes and Sketches About Egyptian Daily Life Organizer [Printable Version]

Other Resources: [PowerPoint of all pictures] [PDF of all pictures for printing] [Student Information Sheets - All]

Adorning the body Adorning the Body

Burial practices Burial Practices

Crafts and trade Crafts and Trade

Domestic life Domestic Life

Food and drink Food and Drink

Housing Housing

Medicine Medicine

Music and dance Music and Dance

Religious beliefs Religious Beliefs

Social classes Social Classes

Warfare Warfare

Writing and education Writing and Education

Supplemental Article: Transportation (Candian Museum of History)

Step 2: Making a Claim and Supporting It

Directions: Look over your research and come up with a claim that captures the big picture/conclusion or what's most important about each aspect of ancient Egyptian daily life. Then support the claim with evidence from the lesson. (Consider our focus of this research: Why did the ancient Egyptians live the way they did?)

Handout: Making a Claim [Printable Version]

Step 3: Creating an Illustrated Journal OR Writing a Narrative

Option #1: Illustrated Journal - Follow these Guidelines for creating your illustrated journal.

Sample Student Work: Sample 1 | Sample 2 | Sample 3

Option #2: Narrative Writing Task

The Sounds of Ancient Egypt - Identifying Musical Instruments