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Ancient Egyptian Profile

Explore the rich visual culture of ancient Egypt! Create a captivating multimedia portrait in historic Egyptian style.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. How do we know what life was like thousands of years ago? With some cultures, there are many clues left behind. Ancient Egypt's material culture (artifacts, objects) is very elaborate and well preserved. So much original art has been found. Egyptologists have learned a lot about daily life in this civilization from the art and other objects.
    2. Ancient Egyptian artists apparently liked to portray people to the subject's best advantage. Therefore, they drew a person's profile as well as a side view of the hips, legs, and feet. The rest of a person was shown straight on---a frontal view of the eyes, shoulders, and chest. What are your best sides?
    3. Have students sketch a head in the ancient Egyptian style with Crayola® Metallic Colored Pencils on construction paper.
    4. The Egyptians cared about their personal appearance and cleanliness. Both men and women wore make-up: eye shadow, painted lips, and fingernails. Perhaps the cosmetics protected people from the sun, sand, and infection. Fill in cosmetic details in the portrait with Crayola Gel Markers.
    5. Egyptian clothing was made from simple fibers, usually flax (linen). Show this fabric on the subject's shoulders.
    6. Both men and women adorned themselves with jewelry: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings. These were made from a variety of metals, colored beads, and semi-precious stones. Amulets were worn as protection against illness. Add ornamentation to the picture with decorative craft items (use recycled jewelry if possible). Attach with Crayola School Glue. Lay flat to air dry.
    7. Use Crayola Glitter Glue to add final decorative touches. Air dry flat.
  • Standards

    LA: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

    LA: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the pst, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities an characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.

    VA: Describe and place variety of art objects in historical an cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Students research Ancient Egyptian culture and identify artistic elements present in this culture. Discuss why the Egyptian culture is so well preserved, including geological, social, and political issues that contribute to its preservation. Students can dress as people did in Ancient Egypt and videotape their findings for class and/or student viewing.

    Compare the typical lives of women in the Egyptian culture to those of other ancient cultures, such as Native Americans or Chinese. Include in the comparison the level of freedom awarded women in these cultures, roles in the family and community, and status in society. Prepare a PowerPoint presentation to share organized research.

    Students study the foods of Ancient Egypt and plan a banquet using historic recipes, music, and dress. If school policy permits, students can prepare the foods for class consumption. A written recipe should accompany each food prepared along with a discussion of what made this food popular in the ancient culture.

    Students study an known artist from Ancient Egypt. These students reproduce a portrait in the manner of such an artist and prepare a verbal discussion of the methods used to create this piece of artwork. Students may also compare and contrast the artistic methods used then and k=now to create such a portrait.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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