ancient Egypt

The Scribes of Ancient Egypt Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn that scribes played an important role in ancient Egyptian society.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

Scribes were near the top of Egyptian society, and capable scribes could do very well—one, Horemheb, even became MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "Ready for Work" is a good one for the photo of the ancient Egyptian scribe? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Tell students that scribes often became teachers. Ask them why they think this was so. Point out that hieroglyphics was kept complicated so not many people could master it. Ask students to voice their opinion as to whether they think this was a good thing or not.
  2. Write about it: Ask students to make up ten picture symbols of their own. Have them develop a key for what these symbols mean. Then ask them to write sentences using the hieroglyphics. Trade papers with other students to see if they can decipher their codes.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on ancient Egypt.


Scribes of Ancient Egypt Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to the scribes of ancient Egypt by reading the definition and using the word in a sentence they create.



Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Grade: 4 - 8
Students use the Internet to research hieroglyphs and use a word processing program to type out what they have learned.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Ancient Egypt

This book provides an in-depth, comprehensive look at ancient Egypt with a unique integration of words and pictures. DK's classic look at ancient Egypt, now reissued with a CD and wall chart.

Receive 20% off your DK purchase with promo code DKCLIP.


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