Goddesses of Ancient Egypt: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Africa that worshiped many gods and goddesses. This lesson will teach you about some of the goddesses ancient Egyptians worshiped and the role they play in ancient Egyptian myths.

Ancient Egypt

Imagine getting a note from your best friend. But instead of using words, the note is written in picture symbols, like a secret code. You recognize most of the pictures, including a soccer ball, ice cream and pizza, and you understand what your friend is trying to tell you. So you plan on meeting them at the soccer field for practice then going for pizza and ice cream afterward.

Thousands of years ago, people in ancient Egypt used symbols called hieroglyphs (pronounced HIGH-roh-gliffs) to write down important information, especially about their gods and goddesses. The ancient Egyptians created myths, or stories, about more than 2,000 of these gods and goddesses that explained things about life, death and the natural world. This is how we know about their beliefs and why the gods and goddesses were worshiped!

Let's learn more about a few of the goddesses and why they were important in ancient Egypt.

Isis

Isis (pronounced EYE-sis) was an extremely important goddess who was married to Osiris, a very important god considered the ruler of the dead. Isis was known as the goddess of nature, who brought everything on the Earth to life every year. She was also known as a mother, protector of children and powerful magician because of her ability to resurrect people (bring them back from the dead). While she was often depicted as a beautiful woman, she sometimes took on the form of a scorpion, cow, bird or female pig.

The goddess Isis
The goddess Isis

Her most famous resurrection was when she brought her husband, Osiris, back to life. When Osiris was killed, Isis mummified his body, which means she treated it with special substances to keep it from rotting and she wrapped it in bandages. And with that, Osiris was the first mummy ever created. Isis then used her magic to restore Osiris back to life, and the two made babies together.

Maat

In modern day, it's important for us to make good choices, be truthful and follow the law. Well, it was important to ancient Egyptians, too. Maat (pronounced MOT) was the goddess of justice, law and truth.

When someone died, as myth had it, Osiris would weigh that person's heart against the feather of Maat, which represented truth. If the heart was good and balanced with the feather, that person could go on to the afterlife. If the heart was heavier than the feather, their soul was swallowed up.

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