It's been a few weeks since we wrapped up our look at Ancient Egypt. We ended with a few great books and a simple geography project.
Although I had originally planned to make a salt dough map, I decided that a 2-dimensional version would make it easier for my children to label all of the parts clearly. Turns out, recreating a map is a FANTASTIC way to review the landscape of a particular region. Because this project had to be completed in stages in order to let each section of paint dry, my kids got to focus on the geographical details for over a week. I think it is permanently etched in their brains!
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Leading up to our end-of-unit map project, we focused on the New Kingdom period of Ancient Egypt and read the following books:
- Zekmet, the Stone Carver: A Tale of Ancient Egypt
- Egyptian Boats
- Master of the Royal Cats
- Tut's Mummy: Lost...And Found
- Joseph the Forgiven by Jester Summers
- Moses in the Bulrushes
- Moses by Maude and Miska Petersham
- Look What Came from Egypt
To Make 2-Dimensional Map of Egypt
You will need:
- a large piece of blank cardboard (I had a used science project-style display board collecting dust in the basement. Since it was a crisp white, it made for the perfect "blank slate.")
- acrylic paints in earthen tones
- pencil, paintbrush, and permanent marker
Display a map of Ancient Egypt for your children to reproduce. Draw a large box on the cardboard and instruct your child to use that box as a perimeter for their map. (My children have a tendency to draw very small pictures on even the largest of canvases. By drawing them a "starter box", I am ensuring that they make their EGYPT outline large enough to fill the page.) Discuss any particular geographic "oddities" that need to be included on the map such as dips and curves in the land or eater formations.
If your children would rather not free-hand draw the perimeter, print out a large copy of the map for your child to cut out and trace around. They can then free-hand ONLY the details.
Using acrylic paints, paint Egypt one color. Let it dry completely. Paint all the surrounding land in a lighter or darker hue. Dry. Then paint each major and minor body of water...including the two main rivers. (Before painting the Nile River, you might also consider using GREEN to paint the fertile river valley.)
Once all the paint is completely dry, use a permanent marker to outline and label the land and water formations, the major cities, and any man-made landmarks.
After months of pyramids, mummies, and plagues, we're packin' up and moving to Ancient Greece. I hope you'll come along!
More Ancient Egypt Ideas to Explore