The Scribes of Ancient Egypt Mini-Lesson

Use this slideshow to introduce students to the scribes of ancient Egypt. This mini-lesson teaches students about the important role scribes played in ancient Egyptian society.
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Teaching Strategies

Excerpted from

Eyewitness: Ancient Egypt
Eyewitness: Ancient Egypt
George Hart

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.

Students will learn that scribes played an important role in ancient Egyptian society.
Suggested Time
15 minutes
Reading Level
Upper Elementary
The Scribes of Ancient Egypt Mini-Lesson

Teacher Background

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

  • 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.)
  • 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?)
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.
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.

Lesson Contents


Extension Activities





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.


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