Lesson Key Facts
- Grade(s): 6
- Subject(s): Dance, Social Studies
- Duration of lesson: 40 minutes
- Author(s): Jana Shumway
Show visuals of the mummy nicknamed Ginger, the mastaba tombs, the step pyramids, the pyramids of Giza, and the Valley of the Kings.
Display cards with various kings/pharaohs.
Display cards with various time periods.
Have the students guess the order in which the landmarks or artifacts came into being and how they evolved over time by matching the picture to the correct time period and king/pharaoh.
|Artifact or Landmark||Time Period||King/Pharaoh|
|Mastaba Tombs||3000 BC|
|Step Pyramids||2700 BC||King Djoser|
|Pyramids of Giza||2500 BC||Pharaoh Khufu|
|Valley of the Kings||1500 BC||King Tut (Tukankhamen)|
Give a brief introduction to each of these artifacts or landmarks and the reasoning behind the order they came in.
Show the appropriate picture for each of these artifacts or landmarks being explored before exploring them through dance.
Play “Night Ride Across the Caucasus” by Loreena McKennitt.
Have half of the class lie down in a “sand pit” to create the mummified bodies, making straight, stiff shapes. Have the other half of the class represent the sand moving around them by swirling, turning, and twisting. Switch roles.
Have half of the class lie down like mummies, pretending that there are walls all around them. Have the other half of the class make Egyptian relief shapes around them. (For example: head sideways, feet sideways, hips forward, shoulders forward, hands offering, always showing all four limbs.)
Have the students get into groups of five and create a variety of five step pyramids. (They do not need to make a traditional pyramid—push their creativity with ideas like just using their arms, backs, heads, or feet instead.)
Have the students look around (while holding their shapes) at all the different pyramids in the room. Comment, as appropriate, on the creative choices the students made in making their step pyramids.
Pyramids of Giza
Remain in groups of five and create pyramids with four flat walls. Again, encourage creativity (upside-down walls, making the wall with a different body part, and so on). The fifth member of the group can be Pharaoh Khufu.
Have the students look around (while holding their shapes) at all the different pyramids in the room. Comment, as appropriate, on the creative choices the students made in making the pyramids of Giza.
Valley of the Kings
Split into random groups of different sizes to create the inside of the Valley of the Kings. Have each group create a short movement phrase, knowing that someone will be navigating through from the following ideas:
- Secret passageways
- Secret doors
- Collapsing bridges
- Fake pharaohs
- Dead ends
- False treasures
Use the drum as accompaniment.
After they have created their movement phrase, either you or a student try to make it through all the obstacles in the Valley of the Kings to find the pharaoh and his treasures.
Have the students in their groups come up with a short narration (like a sports announcer) for someone trying to go through the Valley of the Kings. In this narration, they need to reference another time period’s pyramid and how that contributed to the Valley of the Kings. Repeat the Valley of the Kings section, allowing each group to comment on what is happening as you go through.