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.
As part of the upgrade to Fishtank Plus, this unit was revised in March 2021. See which texts and materials have changed as part of the revision in this guide to our 1st Grade text adjustments.
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.
Since this is the culminating unit of the year, students will use their understanding of all 1st grade informational standards to build knowledge from the core unit texts. In addition, students will review how to determine the reasons an author gives to support points in a text, how to identify basic similarities and differences between two texts on the same topic, and how to use 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)
This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.
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The central thematic questions addressed in the unit or across units
Specific skills to focus on when giving feedback on writing assignments
Throughout the unit students are encouraged to respond to daily Target Task prompts using “because,” “but,” and “so.”
In this unit, students continue to work on using a Single Paragraph Outline to draft paragraphs. Students will have opportunities to write opinion paragraphs and informational paragraphs using the outline.
At the end of the unit, students write their final informational piece of the year. Students will each write about one aspect of ancient Egyptian civilization, supplying facts about the topic.
Literary terms, text-based vocabulary, idioms and word parts to be taught with the text
To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 1st Grade Vocabulary Glossary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
— With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
— 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.
— 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.
— With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.
— Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.
— 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.
The Seven Continents