Thursday, May 25, 2017

Books and Websites on Ancient Egypt for Classroom Use, by Chris Eboch

A mystery in ancient Egypt for middle grade readers, teachers and homeschool
I love ancient Egypt, as you might guess by my middle grade mystery, The Eyes of Pharaoh. Here are some books that teachers could use in the classroom or parents could use for homeschool lessons. These are primarily nonfiction and folktales, but pair them with some historical fiction for a great series of lessons on ancient Egypt. (Get CCSS lesson plans for The Eyes of Pharaoh here.)

The Curse of the Pharaohs: My Adventures with Mummies, by Zahi Hawass – written by an Egyptian archaeologists who is the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. The book discusses ancient and modern ideas of mummy curses. While Dr. Hawass sometimes feels the tug of ancient magic, he does a good job of refuting the idea of a curse. He shares many personal stories from his years as an archaeologist. His passion and enthusiasm for archaeology shine through.

Your Travel Guide to Ancient Egypt, Nancy Day – A fun overview of life in ancient Egypt, written as a guidebook for the history traveler. This helps bring the past to life for kids on a more personal level.

Understanding Egyptian Myths, by Sheri Doyle – this book shares some myths from ancient Egypt in story form, along with background information to help them make sense. Readers may be surprised to find an ancient Egyptian version of Cinderella, as well as the classic fable of “The Lion and the Mouse.”

Spend the Day in Ancient Egypt: projects and activities that bring the past to life, by Linda Honan, illustrated by Ellen Kosmer – though addressed directly to children, teachers will find lots of great classroom projects, including games, jewelry, masks, clothing, statues, and recipes. Most projects have simple and inexpensive materials.

Pyramid, by David Macaulay – a bit dry, but lots of detailed information on how pyramids were made. In particular, budding engineers will enjoy learning how ancient Egyptians determined true North, moved massive stone blocks, and achieved other great engineering feats.

Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, by Zahi Hawass; photographs by Kenneth Garrett – Looking at life and death in ancient Egypt via the famous young Pharaoh. Friendly, enthusiastic writing and nice photos in a large format.

Egyptian Myths, retold by Jacqueline Morley; illustrated by Giovanni Caselli. These stories of good and evil would work well for reading aloud. Teachers could discuss the themes with students, and compare some stories to similar tales from other cultures.

How Would You Survive As an Ancient Egyptian? by Jacqueline Morley; illustrated by John James; created & designed by David Salariya – Information is broken up into tiny bites. Each double-page spread has a topic, such as In the Workshop, Women in Society, or Entertainment. Each spread has a short overview and dozens of small illustrations with additional information. For kids who like to collect facts, but don’t like big blocks of text, this is perfect.

Valley of the Golden Mummies, by Zahi Hawass. This coffee table book is not exactly typical classroom material, but the public library might have a copy. Kids will likely enjoy browsing the extensive full-color photographs, which include dig sites and close-ups of many paintings and artifacts. The language of the text is more appropriate for high school students or adults.

Websites: – Dr. Hawass shares news about archaeology, protecting antiquities, and great discoveries in Egypt. - The British Museum’s ancient Egypt site – Information on daily life, gods and goddesses, pharaohs, mummification, pyramids, and more. –NOVA will let you wander through if you follow an excavation.

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Chris Eboch’s novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show, which starts with The Ghost on the Stairs. Her writing craft books include You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers, and Advanced Plotting

Learn more at or her Amazon page, or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog. Get CCSS lesson plans for teachers or homeschool for The Eyes of PharaohThe Well of Sacrifice, and The Genie’s Gift at her website.

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