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Unit Topic-Title
River Valley Civilizations-Ancient Egypt
Lesson Plan Title
Government and Religion in Ancient Egypt (Lesson 2- Duration: 5 Days)
Student Academic Standards
H 7.1.1 Identify and explain the conditions that led to the rise of early river valley
civilizations and evaluate how the achievements in art, architecture, written language,
and religion of those civilizations influenced their respective forms of government and
social hierarchies.
H 7.1.15 Create and compare timelines that identify major people and events and
developments in the history of civilization and/ or countries of Africa, Asia, and the
Southwest Pacific.
CG 7.2.2 Compare and contrast historical and contemporary governments in Africa,
Asia, and the Southwest Pacific
1a. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
1b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
3c. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the
appropriateness to specific tasks
3d. Process data and report results
4b. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project
5a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
5b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration,
learning, and productivity
6a. Understand and use technology systems
6b. Select and use applications effectively and productively

Content Covered
Students will apply what they know about current governmental and social levels to
determine what aspects/impacts of this information translate globally from ancient
Students will know the effective role religion plays in the establishment, growth, and fall
of a civilization.
Students will know major events that led to change and decline of a civilization/
Student will gain awareness of the importance of building good values while gaining

character education through interacting in peer groups.

Students will create in a positive classroom community and build social skills while
exploring social and developmental levels of civilizations over time.
Students will analyze governmental constants and variants and interpret the ancient and
modern impacts of each.
Student will sort into hierarchical groups to become a visual representation of a social
hierarchy pyramid.
Students will counter myths regarding religious beliefs and practices.
Students will read and organize information relating to ancient Egypt.
Students will create an electronic presentation using a combination of visual elements
that display various aspects of governmental and religious foundations of ancient Egypt.
Students will interact with peers on group projects.
Students will arrange data on various styles of graphic organizers.
Students will write individual summaries of group activity and peer review.
Students will demonstrate public speaking skills through oral presentation.

Lesson Objectives
Students will examine the affect of religion on the establishment and
development of ancient Egypt's social and political order
Students will describe the concept of the afterlife and ancient Egyptian religious
practices in detail
Students will explain social hierarchy in ancient Egypt and compare and contrast
with ideas about social hierarchies today
Students will interpret, analyze, and create a timeline based upon events and
factors in ancient Egyptian civilization
Students will learn about government ruled by religious leaders and
compare/contrast with other forms of government rule
Students will research and organize information on ancient Egypt using internet

Students will write a summary of information

Students will present written and oral reports of findings from research activity

Students will explain how events and people from ancient Egypt have influenced
the course of history

Lesson Rationale
Having a working knowledge of the political, social, and religious structure of
civilizations will allow students to comprehend the existence of the rise and fall of
governments throughout history and interpret how hierarchical systems permeate all
facets of life allowing students to develop views regarding ever-changing information to

become informed, effective decision makers.

Day 1
Classroom desks will be pre-arranged in a pyramid shape. The SmartBoard will display
Old Kingdom (2700-2200BC). As students enter the room, each draw a slip of paper
dictating their social position in the Old Kingdom (attached). The students will then be
given a handout titled Social Hierarchy Pyramid of Ancient Egypt (attached). I will
then discuss handout information and begin oral discussion with students about their
roles in the social hierarchy. The students will remain at their desks in this formation
throughout the class. They will be instructed to have GeoColumns sheet ready to add
notes and use as a reference. The Big Idea vocabulary term theocracy will be projected
on the SmartBoard. We will continue to discuss the development of the social pyramid
during the Old Kingdom period of ancient Egypt.
Day 2
Students will enter a dimly lit room with various images of sarcophagi, ankhs,
mummies, and gods and goddesses displayed on the SmartBoard. A replica mummified
crocodile and a mummified Barbie doll will be displayed on the front table for students
to observe. As students are taking out their GeoColumns graphic organizer and Eastern
World text, I will ask the class what they know about religious beliefs and practices of
ancient Egyptians and instruct them to write down a few examples that we discuss and
confirm in class. Students will then view an entertaining YouTube clip showing the
mummification process on a Barbie doll (link attached).
Days 3 and 4
Students will report directly to the computer lab and be seated in their groups. A
research activity handout will be distributed and reviewed. Students will then begin
working on their group presentations so they may complete them in the allotted time.
Day 5
Students will enter classroom and submit homework. I will have the SmartBoard and
projector ready with NOW PRESENTING displayed. Following presentations, we will
discuss views of research and overall impressions formed during group activity.

Day 1
The class will take turns reading orally from the Eastern World text pages 283-284. As
we read, we will stop for discussion and clarification of terms and to add GeoColumns
information. Students will begin creating a Dipity timeline on the SmartBoard covering
the Old Kingdom. This timeline information will be used as a resource for building
additional timelines of later periods, answering assessment questions, adding to oral
discussion, identifying major turning points in the history of the civilization, and making
comparison/contrast connections throughout the Unit. The class will discuss the
contributions and necessity of the Nile River, factors surrounding unification, and the
development of social classes and government hierarchies. Emphasis will be placed on

understanding the importance of theocracy and the differences in governments led by

religious rule. Students will also note the great engineering marvels of this time period.
Day 2
Students will pair-and-share outline information derived from Eastern World text
pages 285-288. Images of the major gods/goddesses that we discuss will be projected on
the SmartBoard and students will be instructed to write down the major points and key
gods/goddesses on the GeoColumns handout. The vocabulary word polytheism will be
introduced and defined on SmartBoard and emphasis placed on the significance of the
worship of multiple gods during this period.
Days 3 and 4
Students will report directly to computer lab with all materials. Students will be seated
with previously assigned groups and given research activity handout on THEOCRACY to
complete as a group. The computer lab assistant and I will walk the room to assist
students with research questions and to ensure all are on task.
Day 5
Students will enter classroom and submit their written summary paragraphs in tray.
We will then discuss views of research and overall impressions regarding the project
experience. Presentations will begin immediately following to ensure maximum viewing
time. Group projects will have been saved to a shared folder and chosen at random to be
presented. The presenting group will be asked to stand and introduce their presentation
and respond to questions/ feedback from peers following presentation. While viewing
presentations, students at their desks will be completing a peer review half-sheet
evaluating the presentation and providing opinions/comments. I will also comment or
ask questions of each group. Before the bell, students will be reminded to complete
agenda information.
Checks for Understanding
Day 1
Questions will be asked of individual students pertaining to their roles in society.
Students will respond to open-ended questions on white boards both individually and as
an entire class. This will allow for monitoring of understanding of social roles and
government in ancient Egyptian society. Students will also be completing a social
hierarchy pyramid handout with a partner and I will walk the room to assess and clarify
while asking questions aloud.
Day 2
I will walk the room to ensure students are recording necessary information in
notes/organizer and check that hierarchy worksheets are being completed successfully
in pairs. I will ask questions of each student pairing to ensure they have a working
understanding of the assignment and topic concept. Students will read aloud and
respond to questions at random to assist me in gauging pacing of the material.
Day 3
The computer lab assistant, inclusion aide, and I will conference with each group as they
are completing projects in the lab. We will note group roles and ask for specifics as to
who is researching what aspect and the general route they are taking with their topic.

Students will also be assigned a one-paragraph summary of findings and opinion over
research activity that will be counted as a portion of their presentation grade. Students
will have rubric guidelines to follow and will understand what is required of them and
the assignment to achieve full credit.
Day 4
The computer lab assistant, inclusion aide, and I will conference with each group as they
are creating projects in the lab. Students are reminded of assigned one-paragraph
summary of findings and opinion over research activity that will be counted as a portion
of their presentation grade. Students will have rubric guidelines to follow and allow
them to understand what is required of them and the assignment to achieve full credit.
Students will complete projects and present in class the following day.
Day 5
Students will be presenting their group presentations to the class. Classmates will be
completing a peer review sheet and are required to list a question they would ask of the
group and give their opinion. This sheet will also be considered as a percentage of their
final grade. A summative assessment will be given over all lesson content at end of unit.
Day 1
A Dipity timeline with highlighted sections (building throughout unit) will be displayed
on the SmartBoard to further ensure that students have placed proper events at proper
increments. Students will review agenda board information and ask if they understand
homework assignment. Students will write their acronym words on post-it notes and
leave on desks. Class is dismissed at bell.
Day 2
The final minutes of class will be spent discussing the THEOCRACY research activity
listed on the agenda board. Students will be assigned pre-determined groups for class in
the computer lab the following day. A copy of the handout students will receive in the
lab will be displayed on the SmartBoard. I will review the handout assignment,
procedures, and expectations with the class. I will ask for questions and clarify any
needed information. Students will be told to report directly to the computer lab for class
the following day.
Day 3
The computer lab assistant and I will walk the lab to ensure all students have saved
presentations to proper folder and determine who needs a pass to return during study
period or who may need to check out a flash drive to finish presentation at home.
Students will be asked to write a short, one-paragraph summary of their overall findings
and opinion of the activity for homework. These paragraphs will be submitted upon
entering class in two days. Class is dismissed at bell.
Day 4
The computer lab assistant and I will walk the lab to ensure all students have saved
presentations to proper folder. Students will be reminded to write a short, oneparagraph summary of their overall findings and opinion of the activity for homework.
These paragraphs will be submitted upon entering class the following day.

Day 5
Presentations will last entire class period. I will assess paragraphs and peer-review
sheets and return to students the following day. Written feedback will be provided and
some groups may meet with me for further discussion during study hall. I will meet
them at the door and inform them of later meeting if needed.
Day 1
Students will be assigned the following questions for homework completion:
1b) Analyze: Why did ancient Egyptians never question the pharaohs authority?
1c) Elaborate: Why do you think pharaohs might have wanted the support of nobles?
4) Generalizing: Create and complete a graphic organizer by listing three facts about
the relationship between government and religion in the Old Kingdom.
The questions may be submitted via blog, homepage post, or placed in the class tray.
Day 2
A follow-up response to the Jefferson quote on the Social Hierarchy Pyramid Handout
will be asked of the students during class. Do you agree with Jeffersons views? Why?
Homework will be given over the following assessment questions:
What was the meaning of the afterlife in ancient Egypt?
What does the building of the pyramids tell us about Egyptian society?
Days 3 and 4
Students will be graded and given feedback over THEOCRACY presentation summaries.
Unit assessment will measure understanding of presentation/ content material.
Day 5
Paragraphs summarizing the THEOCRACY research activity will be considered a
summative assessment. They will be graded and returned with comments at the end of
the week. The presentations will be formative assessments as they will be discussed and
have feedback provided during research in lab and immediately following presentations.
The peer-review sheets will be considered as part of participation grade.
The Unit exam on Day 15 will count as a summative assessment containing questions
from all content areas of the ancient Egypt Unit.
GeoColumns graphic organizer
Presentation research information gathered in computer lab
Eastern World textbook
Flash-drive (optional)
Replica mummified crocodile and mummified Barbie doll (for concrete visual
representation of mummification)
Social Hierarchy Pyramid handout

Presentation research activity handout/rubric

Peer-review handout


Technology Aspects
Students will be creating theocracy presentations in the computer lab and at home. They
will be accessing the internet to view projects and interactive web pages (PBS-NOVA) as
well as using presentation/publishing software such as Prezi, storyboarding software,
and podcasts to complete assigned activity. A SmartBoard will be used in the classroom
throughout the lesson duration to provide lesson information, details and expected
results, and examples of presentations completed by groups. Students may also be
completing aspects of the activity at home and presenting information stored on flash
drive, uploaded from site or web page, or various tablets/applications. Class will be
building an online Dipity timeline. Students will also be completing individual research
vial online, newspaper, or oral discussion relating to Indiana government hierarchies.
Classroom Management Aspects
Posted classroom behavioral and procedural rules will be reviewed on Day 1 of unit
introduction and prior to beginning group or project work. Negative or disruptive
behavior will not be tolerated. Student will be issued a verbal warning for first offense, a
second offense will have student removed from group or project area and be seated
nearest instructors desk to complete his/her contributions and have a private
discussion with the instructor. Any further disruption during the class period will call for
a hallway conference followed up with a phone call to guardians. If student responds
negatively a second day of class, he/she will be sent to the principals office with
instructor either in attendance if possible or calling office with information regarding
student behavior including dates of occurrences, actions taken, and responses. Group
grades will be adjusted accordingly and disciplined student will be expected to complete
his/her aspect with additional assignment. If student has more than two offenses, the
instructor will meet with grade level team and/ or guardians to discuss the need for
counseling or outside intervention services. Students are responsible for keeping a
personal grade sheet in their binders. Every graded assignment is to be recorded and
grades are to be averaged. These grade sheets are checked bi-weekly and account for 5%
of overall participation grade. This should allow student to develop responsibility and
have a source of stability in knowing where they stand academically and what they need
to work on to improve their grade. This is also intended to lessen number of behavioral
instances. In order to have varied grouping and successful transitions, all groups will be
chosen by instructor and student needs/ behaviors will be the basis of grouping. These
groups will be alternated according to activity, absence, or need. The list of alternate
groups will be pre-determined and followed as closely as allowed with room for
adjustments as observed by instructor. Procedural rules will be reviewed before
beginning group work. Students have previously discussed how efficiency in
transitioning will allow students to have more group activities and classroom
completion time. Students will be given clear instructions regarding what the activity is,

how it is to be completed, and what is expected of each member. Group work will be
given privilege status and those who abuse the privilege will be completing work
individually following a rubric for solo activity that his/ her grade will be based upon.
Instructor will be walking the room to observe groups and be available for questions.
Some groups may be called to instructors desk to give updates on lengthier group
activities and present current findings and level of completion/ contribution.
Group activities will be based as closely as possible according to students interests. Just
before the introduction of a unit, the instructor will ask students to complete an outlined
interest sheet relating to possible unit activities. This will assist instructor in developing
activities or modifying aspects to motivate and gain attention of students.
Instructor will, at all times, follow procedural and behavioral rules for every student
showing no bias or preferential treatment. Instructor will also model expected proper
procedure and behaviors at all times. Students are to know what is expected of them
behaviorally and academically.

Educational Psychology Aspects

This lesson will encourage abstract thought through oral discussion and provides
challenging curriculum on a topic numerous middle school students find intriguing.
Students will be moving about the room in an orderly way and developing relationships
with peer groups through acceptance and communication. Students will visualize and
discuss physical changes in environment and think critically about impacts. Appropriate
behavior being modeled by instructor and fellow classmates will allow students to thrive.
Reciprocal teaching moments will allow for clarification of understanding to further
connect links of information.

ELL Aspects
Accommodations will be tailored to the needs of the student(s). The team will decide if
peer mentoring would be beneficial on a case-by-case basis. One-on-one assistance will
be provided by the instructor, inclusion aide, and computer lab assistant. Computer
software that depicts modeling of the lesson content will also be provided. Worksheets,
vocabulary, and assignments will include picture representations of content in an
understandable format for each student. Captioned videos and headphones will be
available for further teaching. Picture pages and hands-on activities will be used to
supplement vocabulary skills.

High Ability Aspects

Students with thorough understanding of material will complete timeline portion of
their presentation and have the option of completing individual presentations with
advanced grading rubric. Homework questions may be written as extended writing
assignment encompassing content from all four lessons and developing a two page

Disability or At-Risk Aspects


Accommodations will be tailored to the students Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.). In

addition, students will be working in small groups. Students will also receive additional
assistance from classroom teacher as well as Resource instructor and aide assistance.
Student will be in inclusion placement but may complete testing and/or assignments in
the Resource room. Student accommodations may include: maps, outlines, and other
information that is already completed in whole or in part.
PROFESSIONAL REFLECTION (completed after the lesson has been taught)
Students LOVED the visual representation the pyramid seating provided and the
random draw inclusion. They participated fully in the role-play as dictated by their
social slips. An activity extension later in the unit, centered on pyramid building and
mathematics, allowed the peasants to be hands-on while the upper-class could only
vocalize instruction. There was evident frustration but all was handled internally and
successfully. Peasants could visualize their rise while manipulating the materials.


YouTube link depicting Barbie mummification process:

Social Hierarchy Pyramid status slips

*arrange desks into pyramid prior to class- random draw upon entering room.

You are the child of the great pharaoh. Congratulations! You will be PHARAOH. You are
the ultimate ruler over all of Egypt. You own and control every aspect of life in your
empire. You are rich, powerful, and considered a god on earth. Your only duty is to
maintain balance and harmony throughout your empire. All will worship at your feet (oh,
and some may try to kill you). This is almost better than Wonkas Golden Ticket! (1 slip)
You have spent years as a scribe. You have shown supreme excellence in your work and
have been chosen for the highest honor. Congratulations! You will be VIZIER. You are the
pharaohs most trusted advisor. You will be overseer of all government functions. You are
exempt from all manual labor and live a life of luxury. Enjoy your power trip. (1 slip)
Your father was very powerful. Congratulations! You will be a HIGH PRIEST. You have
a much honored position. You will take care of the needs of the gods and serve as political
advisor to the pharaoh. You will appoint others to work in temples. You will enjoy a life
with family surrounding you. (1 slip)
Your close relative was a scribe. Congratulations! You will be a SCRIBE. You have the
honor of being taught to read and write. You will attend school in the temple courtyard.
You will be a keeper of records and a supervisor. You are exempt from manual labor. (3
Your close relative was a noble. Congratulations! You will be a NOBLE. You will be an
overseer of the peasants. You are exempt from manual labor. (3 slips)
Your father was an artisan. Find a scribe to read this ticket to you. Congratulations! You
will be a CRAFTSMAN. You belong to a group of skilled craftsmen who work year-round
on the skill in which they have been trained. You are one of a group of sculptors, painters,
carpenters, and rock-cutters. Do your job well. It is the only thing keeping you from being
a lowly peasant. (3 slips)
Your kingdom was conquered. Find a scribe to read this ticket to you. You will be a
SLAVE. You will not receive any education or work in any skilled area here. You will
spend six years working in the fields or in the homes of the nobles. During the flooding
season, you will work on the governments building projects (corvee duty). You exist only
to serve others. (4 slips)
Your father was a farmer. Find a scribe to read this ticket to you. You will be a PEASANT.
You will grow all food for the kingdom. Men work in the field irrigating crops. Women
bake, brew, and weave. You will not live a life of luxury. You will live in a house made of
mud. You will be called to work on the governments building projects (corvee duty). Your
only pay will be in the form of grain.
*The number of peasant slips will remain the majority and be determined by class size.

Social Hierarchy Pyramid Handout

Directions: Answer the following questions about the societal structures of
ancient Egypt and today. Formulate your answers in complete sentences
and be certain you have answered all parts of the question.
Its a go for
electronic or paper submission.
1. What people were at the top of the ancient Egyptian social order?
2. What kind of life did ancient Egypts upper classes live?
3. If you were creating a modern social status pyramid based on Indiana, what
group(s) of people would you consider highest? Why?
4. Name three people who would be placed at this highest level.
5. Who made up the middle class in ancient Egypt?
6. Who made up the lower class in ancient Egypt?
7. What kind of life did ancient Egypts lower classes live?
8. How does ancient Egypts social structure compare to our social structure
9. What are two main differences between theocracy and democracy?
10. Please provide a short answer as to your interpretation of the following
"Wherever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their
own government.
-Thomas Jefferson


Peer-review Sheet Group Presentations

*Evaluation will count as 10 homework


Reviewers Name:

Review topic


Place + or here


The introduction grabs

the viewer

Topic was clearly

identified and explained
in the presentation
Group demonstrated
good audience awareness
guidelines/rubric were

What question could you ask pertaining to this topic?

List one aspect of the presentation you liked most and one you
liked least and tell why you chose these.

What was your overall opinion of the presentation?


Presentation Grading Rubric









Memorable and

Intro clearly


Missing or

states topic

included and




and states


states topic


Includes three

Includes at least

Includes at

Missing or

key points and

two key points

least one

unclear key

at least 6 slides

and 5 slides

key point

points and

and 4 slides

3 or fewer

Graphics and

Easy to read

Easy to read


Weak or

fonts and

fonts and legible

fonts and


graphics with




striking layout

and sound



Clear transitions



transitions on

on most slides/



all slides and

one feature with

one or more


and sound

slides/ features
with sound



All sources of

All sources of







correctly cited

cited, some


in presentation


Clear, legible

Legible voice,



voice with good

some eye contact


illegible, no


eye contact

eye contact

minimal eye

*This will count as
homework points!

Paragraph with

Paragraph with


No written



errors in











opinion included


No opinion



Ancient Egypt: Government and Gods

Activity: Groups will research the government of ancient Egypt
and create a presentation following the attached rubric
guidelines. This research activity will be presented to the class.
After completing the activity, each group member is responsible
for writing a one-paragraph summary of project findings and
opinion. Your classmates will complete a peer-review sheet
during each group presentation. *Both the writing assignment
and peer-review sheet will be assessed a grade.
Presentations must include the following:
Define and describe aspects of theocracy in ancient
Egypt: leadership/hierarchy/religion *(your group
will decide which elements of each you will present)
Identify a country today that is ruled by theocracy
*(hint: see notes from the last unit!) and compare it
that of theocracy in ancient Egypt-provide at least
one similarity and one distinction
Conclude with one similarity and one difference
between the government of ancient Egypt and the
government of Egypt today

*Remember: Groups are fellowships- all members play an

essential role. Always be pro-active in your learning! Make
certain all presentation aspects are understood and all work is
distributed fairly before you set out on your quest (no Frodos).