Egyptian History: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

The history of Egypt includes the longest surviving civilization in history. In this lesson, explore the land of the Nile River, ancient pharaohs, and amazing architecture!

Where is Egypt?

Imagine a desert landscape, sand for miles. Sounds hot and dusty, right? Now imagine a huge river running right through the middle of this desert. You're imagining the landscape of Egypt! This country depends on the Nile River for water, and the Nile was an important reason that an ancient civilization in Egypt survived thousands of years ago. Today Egypt is a country that is so large it stretches into two continents, Africa and Asia.

The Nile River was the primary water source for the ancient civilization in Egypt.
Nile River Delta

Ancient Civilization

Over 5,000 years ago, the ancient civilization of Egypt emerged. A flood sounds like a bad thing that would be devastating, right? Not for ancient Egypt. The Nile River would flood its banks, leaving behind rich soil that was perfect for planting crops needed to survive. Thanks to the flooding, the Egyptian civilization lasted over 3,000 years. That's longer than any other ancient group of people!

Land of the Pharaoh

Ancient Egypt was ruled for many years by dynasties. These were families that included kings and queens, and they had power in Egypt throughout many of their generations. The rulers were often called pharaohs (pronounced FAY-rohs), and these leaders were believed to be gods themselves. They often built large temples, and when they died their bodies were preserved in expensive and ornate structures. You may have heard of some of Egypt's famous pharaohs: Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti, Tutankhamun (often called King Tut for short), Ramesses II, and Cleopatra VII.

Egyptian pharaohs built elaborate structures to preserve their bodies after death, like this one for King Tut.
King Tut Egypt

Amazing Architecture

Some of the world's most amazing architecture, or buildings, were created by the ancient Egyptians. Keep in mind that this society did not have all of the technology and tools that we have today. Yet they built large pyramids out of very heavy stones. These rocks had to be shaped and fit together just right for the structure to not only stay standing, but last thousands of years. The pyramids were built to be tombs, where royalty could be buried. Many people travel today to Egypt just to get a glimpse of these amazing structures.

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