Alternate Unit 5: Ancient Egypt
Students explore the values, daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Egypt and compare them to those of society today, while exploring the evidence an author uses to support points in a text.
Alternate Unit 5
In this unit, students explore ancient Egypt. Over the course of the unit, students learn and explore different characteristics of ancient Egypt and what the ancient Egyptians valued. Through learning about the daily routines, structures, and rituals of ancient Egypt, students will be challenged to draw conclusions about what the civilization valued and how those values compare to society today. Students will also learn about the role that mummies and pyramids played in ancient Egyptian society and why archeologists and scientists have been intrigued by them ever since. It is our hope that this unit, in conjunction with the others in the sequence, will help students understand and appreciate early civilizations that have had a lasting impact on the world.
In this unit, students use their understanding of informational standards to build knowledge from the core unit texts. Additionally, students practice determining the reasons an author gives to support points in a text, identifying basic similarities and differences between texts on the same topics, and using text features to locate key information in a text.
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Book: Mummies and Pyramids: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #3: Mummies in the Morning by Mary Pope Osborne (Random House Books for Young Readers)
Book: DK FindOut! Ancient Egypt by Dr. Angela McDonald (DK Children)
Book: National Geographic Readers: Pyramids by Laura Marsh (National Geographic Kids)
Book: Tut's Mummy Lost... and Found by Judy Donnelly (Random House Books for Young Readers, 1988)
Assessment Text: “National Geographic Readers: Egypt Collection” by National Kids (National Geographic Kids)
— 560L; 710LL
Rubric: Grade 1 Writing Rubrics (Narrative, Opinion & Informational)
These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.
Download Content Assessment
Download Content Assessment Answer Key
Download Cold Read Assessment
Download Cold Read Assessment Answer Key
Suggestions for how to prepare to teach this unit
Prepare to teach this unit by immersing yourself in the texts, themes, and core standards. Unit Launches include a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning.
The central thematic questions addressed in the unit or across units
Readers use text features to locate and understand information in a text.
Identifying similarities and differences between two texts on the same topic helps a reader understand why authors write different texts.
To understand events in a text, readers think about how details are connected.
Use frequently occurring conjunctions “because,” “but,” and “so”.
Write narratives with a beginning, middle and end.
Include details about what happened with each event.
Use temporal words to signal event order.
Provide a sense of closure.
Name a topic.
Supply facts about the topic.
Build on others' talk in conversation by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
Use specific vocabulary. Use vocabulary that is specific to the subject and task to clarify and share their thoughts.
Literary terms, text-based vocabulary, idioms and word parts to be taught with the text
To see all the vocabulary for Unit 10, view our 1st Grade Vocabulary Glossary.
In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.
Fishtank ELA units related to the content in this unit.
By the end of the unit, students will understand:
Explain why the Egyptian civilization started near the Nile River.
Describe some of the people who lived in ancient Egypt and how they spent their time.
Describe what a woman or man in ancient Egypt would wear and why.
Defend if being a scribe is or is not the most challenging job in ancient Egypt.
Explain how life in ancient Egypt was similar to and different from your life today.
Narrative – 3 days
Write a narrative about the day in the life of a person in Ancient Egypt using details from the text.
Describe some of the gods and goddesses Egyptians worshiped and why they were important.
Explain how mummies were made using details from both texts.
Explain why ancient Egyptians built pyramids and how they built them.
Identify new or different information about pyramids.
Discussion & Writing – 2 days
State an opinion about if you would or would not have wanted to live in ancient Egypt.
Defend if the tomb raiders were or were not doing anything wrong.
Debate if preparing a king for the Land of the Dead was a quick and sad process.
Analyze how being stubborn helped Howard Carter reach his goal.
Explain how people responded to the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.
Analyze Egyptian artwork.
Discuss unit Essential Questions.
Writing – 4 days
Write a class book about ancient Egypt.
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The content standards covered in this unit
— Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
— Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
— Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).
— Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
— Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
— Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
— Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
— Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
— Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
— Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups
— Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
— Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.
— Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
— Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
— Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.
— With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
— With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
— Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of "how-to" books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).
— With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Standards that are practiced daily but are not priority standards of the unit
— Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
— Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
— With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
— Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
— Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
— Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
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