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

1st Grade

Unit Summary

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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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials


These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Before you teach this unit, unpack the texts, themes, and core standards through our guided intellectual preparation process. Each Unit Launch includes a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning to ensure you're prepared to support every student.

Essential Questions

  • What did ancient Egyptians believe and value?
  • How did ancient Egyptian beliefs and values shape their civilization?

Reading Focus Areas

  • 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.

Writing Focus Areas


  • Use frequently occurring conjunctions “because,” “but,” and “so”.

Narrative Writing

  • 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.

Informational Writing

  • Name a topic.

  • Supply facts about the topic.

  • Provide closure.

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • 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.



boast civilization decay deserted decorative fertile greed ordinary procession sacred stubborn wealthy worship

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 5, view our 1st Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

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.

Content Knowledge and Connections

By the end of the unit, students will understand:

  • The Egyptian civilization started near the Nile River because they were able to get food and water from the river, they could travel up and down it to get goods, and the land was fertile for farming.
  • People had lots of different roles in ancient Egypt. There were:
    • Craftspeople who made things for other people
    • Scribes who read and wrote things for people 
    • Pharaohs who were the rulers of Egypt
  • Men and women in ancient Egypt dressed in white linen. They may have put perfume on their head and makeup on their eyes. They also wore jewelry to represent the gods or goddesses.
  • Hieroglyphics were the signs that Egyptians wrote with. There were 700 different hieroglyphs.
  • Ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods and goddesses. They built temples for their important gods. Priests took care of the statues that were inside the temples.
  • Ancient Egyptians believed in the afterlife. Instead of letting dead bodies rot and decay, they made them into mummies.
  • Ancient Egyptians built pyramids to bury pharaohs and other wealthy Egyptians. The pharaohs were buried in tombs with lots of valuables and things they would need in the afterlife, including the Book of the Dead.
  • Tomb raiders broke into the pyramids and tombs to steal all of the valuables.
  • King Tut’s tomb was one of the last tombs to be discovered.

Lesson Map

Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards

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