Daily Activity 33: Pyramids & Hieroglyphics

May 6, 2020

This week’s theme:

Mysterious Places – Ancient Egypt

Fact of the day:

Most Ancient Egyptian pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs (rulers of Ancient Egypt) and their families. To date, over 130 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt.

Resources list:

Print out of pyramid model, scissors, glue; household objects to build with; squares of different textures; cucumber or apple, salt, sugar, baking powder; paper and pens.

Activity 1:

Pharaohs built great tombs for themselves in pyramids so they could live well in the afterlife. The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. This incredible structure weighs as much as 16 Empire State buildings!

Make a model pyramid of your own.

See here for some crazy home built pyramids; can you build a pyramid structure out of unexpected things you have at  your home? Share your photos with us on our FacebookInstagram or Twitter or send it to melanie@purplepatcharts.org and we’ll put it online for you!

Activity 2:

A pyramid is a 3D shape made up of 4 triangles and a square base. It has 5 faces and 8 edges. Can you count them on the model you made? How many triangles can you spot in your house/garden?

Cut out a bunch of right-angle triangles, all the same size as each other (any square piece of paper cut in two diagonally will make a right angle triangle; try 10cm squares, or post it notes cut diagonally). You can cut these out from different textured materials (e.g. card, foil, kitchen roll, sand paper, coloured plastic bags, fabric). Put the  triangles together (tesselate) and see what other shapes you can make. Rule: Sides touching each other must be the same length! Can you slide, flip and rotate your pieces to make a square from 4 triangles? A triangle from 4 triangles? See here and here for other shapes ideas.

Activity 3:

Pyramids are tombs where Egyptian Pharaohs were laid to rest after they had died. The afterlife was incredibly important to the Egyptians. They believed that by preserving a dead person’s body and organs (which were preserved in separate special ‘canopic’ jars buried beside the body) then their soul would live on in the after-life forever. This process of preservation was called mummification. Part of the mummification process involved taking the moisture from the bodies before they were wrapped. Try an Experiment to see how different substances can dry things out.

Activity 4:

Tutankhamun had 5,398 different objects buried with him to ensure that he remained strong, wealthy, and well fed in the afterlife. These objects included a leopard-skin cloak, four game boards, six chariots, 30 wine jars, and 46 bows.

Gather together or draw a picture of your most favourite precious things that you always like to pack with you wherever you go.

Activity 5:

Tombs and pyramids were lined with mysterious engravings called hieroglyphs, each hieroglyph was a character of the ancient Egyptian writing system. The Egyptian alphabet contained more than 700 hieroglyphs!

Can you spell your name by drawing it in hieroglyphs? Use this alphabet to help distinguish the correct letters and symbols.

Can you use the alphabet to crack this Hieroglyphic message?

Hieroglyphs were often written top-to-bottom on a ‘cartouche’ (an ornament bearing an inscription). Make your own cartouche bookmark.

Add on Activity:

If you have the ingredients, make a rice crispie pyramid, see here!