Activity Overview

Two of the most enduring aspects of ancient Egypt are the Pyramids and the practice of mummification. While they're familiar with these two practices, students are not often aware of why the Egyptians developed them. In this activity, students will create a spider map or grid to describe these iconic traditions.

Students should provide research that answers the following questions:

  • Why did Egyptians create mummies?
  • Why did the Egyptians build pyramids?
  • How did Egyptians create mummies?
  • How did the Egyptians build pyramids?

Adjust the complexity of questions to the level of your students. Other questions might include:

  • Besides the mummified body, what else was put into Pharoahs’ pyramids?
  • How do we know about pyramids?
  • What is the process of mummification?
  • Who performed the mummification?
  • How long did it take to build a pyramid?
  • How were ordinary citizens’ bodies treated differently from Pharoahs’ bodies?

Extended Activity

Students could be assigned specific pyramids to research and create a storyboard about when it was built, who was buried there, and when it was rediscovered. There are well over 100 pyramids for students to choose from! Students could also deconstruct and annotate burial tombs in a storyboard format.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a spider chart about how and why the Egyptians used mummies and pyramids.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, enter the questions you will be answering (the How and Whys of pyramids and mummies).
  3. Write your answer in the description boxes.
  4. Create an illustration for each answer using appropriate scenes, characters, items, or photos from Photos for Class.

Lesson Plan Reference

Image Attributions
  • Giza pyramids • bandarji • License Attribution (
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