Building Model Pyramids Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Are you looking for a fun way to incorporate pyramid building into your instruction? This lesson plan will be a great resource for doing so as it presents several different methods for building pyramids using a text lesson. A competitive activity keeps things interesting for students.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the pyramids of Ancient Egypt
  • list the steps necessary for constructing a pyramid


90 to 120 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


  • A paper copy of the text lesson How to Build a Model Pyramid
  • Photographs of several pyramids
  • Folded slips of paper, each numbered with one, two or three (the number of slips should equal the number of students in class)
  • A bowl or container
  • Heavyweight paper plates or flat Styrofoam lunch trays
  • Thin cardboard sourced from flattened boxes
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Glue
  • Hot glue guns loaded with glue sticks
  • Modeling clay
  • Sugar cubes
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sand
  • Glitter
  • First, second and third place award ribbons


  • Explain to the class that they will be participating in a 'Build a Pyramid Competition'!
  • Display the photographs of the pyramids for the class, explaining that these should be used a guide in the construction of their model pyramids.
  • Begin by reading through the text lesson as a class, paying close attention to 'The Beauty of the Model Pyramid' and 'Procedure' sections.
    • Gather the materials in advance of instruction. Include those listed in the 'Materials' section of the text lesson as well as those listed in the 'Other Options' section.
  • Now ask students if they have any questions about building a pyramid, before moving on to the activity.

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