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The Egypt Game Activities

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'The Egypt Game' is a chapter book by Zilpha Keatley Snyder about a group of neighborhood kids who create their own secret game. The activities in this asset will help bring meaning and draw interest to this story.

The Egypt Game

In The Egypt Game, a group of children create a game that they play together in secret. Calling it The Egypt Game, the children do all kinds of fascinating research and end up with a very elaborate game. Then everything comes to a halt when a little girl goes missing and parents stop letting their kids go out to play. Make this story come alive for young readers by involving them in book related activities during or after reading. The following activities, designed for upper elementary age readers, can be used to help students make connections with the story, its theme, and its characters.

Create an Alphabet

Materials: writing paper, pencils

  • Begin by talking about the secret alphabet the children created in the story. Why did they make their own alphabet? What did they use it for? How fun would it be to have your own secret alphabet?
  • Put students into groups of 3-4.
  • Give each group writing paper and pencils.
  • Ask each group to create their own alphabet. They can do so by writing out all the letters of the standard English alphabet and then assigning an alternative symbol for each letter. Encourage them to get creative with their symbols and have fun with it.
  • Once each group has developed an alphabet, have them, on a separate piece of paper, use their alphabet to write out a secret message. This message should pertain to the book in some way - for example, telling about their favorite scene, character, etc.
  • Next, have each group exchange their secret message along with their new alphabet with another group so that they can decipher each other's messages.

Compare Characters

Materials: drawing paper, colored pencils or markers

  • Begin with a brief discussion about the main characters of the book. Talk about April, Melanie, and Elizabeth as well as Marshall, Ken and Toby. Have students describe each character's physical characteristics, personality, character traits, and any other information about each character that they can recall.
  • Next, give each student drawing paper and colored pencils or markers.
  • Instruct students to draw a large Venn diagram on their papers.
  • For their diagrams, ask students to select two characters to compare (or they might select a character and compare themselves to that character).
  • Allow time for students to work. Encourage creativity in the use of color as well as pictures to illustrate whenever possible.
  • When finished, have each student show and explain their Venn diagram to the class.

Create a Game

Materials: writing paper and pencils or access to a computer for writing

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