Ancient Egypt Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jeremy Cook

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

Why were the children of ancient Egypt so confused? Because their fathers were mummies! When you think of ancient Egypt you probably think of wrapped bodies, but there is more to know and this lesson will teach you the basics of ancient Egypt.

Who Were the Egyptians?

More than a thousand years ago, there was a group of people who lived in the north African country of Egypt. The civilization lasted thousands of years from 3150 B.C.E to just after the turn of the common era. The time periods are split up into kingdoms. There was the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom.

Ancient Egyptians lived along the world's longest river called the Nile. Many of them were farmers and farmed the fertile land along the river that flooded each year. Outside of the Nile River Valley, Egypt is nothing but rocky and sandy desert. They were ruled by a king called a pharaoh. Pharaohs were put into power by their birth and social class.

The Great Pyramid at Giza was built for a pharaoh named Kheops
Great Pyramid

Ancient Egyptian Beliefs

Ancient Egyptians believed in many gods and goddesses, the primary one being the sun god named Ra. They also thought that the pharaoh was related to the sun god, so when they died and were buried, they had a very fancy burial with lots of treasures buried with them.

When a person died, the Egyptians believed they went to another life called the afterlife. The afterlife would be just like their real life, and they would need tools, clothing and items from their present lives to bring with them. Therefore, most ancient Egyptians were buried with their possessions.

The ancient Egyptians also believed they needed to preserve the body of the dead. This was to help their spirit survive and journey to the afterlife. To preserve the body, they would remove the person's organs and wrap them in cloth. The wrapped body was called a mummy.

Egyptians would preserve a body to protect it for its journey to the afterlife

Pyramids, Temples and Tombs

The ancient Egyptians were amazing builders. Many of the structures they built were to honor kings or bury them. Pyramids were massive, triangular shaped structures made of stone. They took decades to build and were used as a burial site for pharaohs during the Old Kingdom. There are still many pyramids standing in Egypt. The great pyramid at Giza is the largest and has been standing for nearly five thousand years.

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