Ancient Pyramids

Contributor: Marit Rheinheimer. Lesson ID: 12114

Have you ever seen a construction site where a large building was put up? Do you like heavy equipment? What if you were the only heavy equipment? Learn how the pyramids were built without power tools!



learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Did you know that the tallest pyramid in Egypt is 450 feet tall? That’s about the same as 30 houses stacked on top of each other! Why were the pyramids built and how did they create such impressive structures without the machines we use today? Discover the answers in this lesson!

Jump back in time about 4,500 years to visit the ancient Egyptians.

They were surrounded by deserts in northwest Africa. However, this civilization, or people group, lived along the Nile River, where yearly flooding created fertile land perfect for growing crops. As you read to learn about the ancient Egyptians’ lives, and especially about their pyramids, practice comparing and contrasting their life and culture with your own.

First, let’s review comparing and contrasting.

  • Comparing is finding ways that two things are similar or the same.
  • Contrasting is finding ways that two things are different.
  • Download and print Graphic Organizer - Venn Diagram found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Label the two circles, one for you and the other for the Ancient Egyptians. We will use this organizer often throughout the lesson, so keep it nearby as you work through this lesson.

Look at the Ancient Egypt Maps from Ancient Egypt Online. You can see that away from the Nile River, the ancient Egyptians were surrounded by deserts. However, close to the river, they could grow food, so this is where they built many towns and cities. In the north, where the Nile River flows into the Mediterranean Sea, they had a lot of farmland.

Let’s compare:

  • How does their area compare to where you live?
  • Do you live in a warm area, also?
  • Near deserts or good farmland?
  • Near a river or other body of water?
  • If you can find a way that your area is like the Egyptians’, write it down in the middle section of your Venn Diagram.

Next, practice contrasting:

  • How is their area different from where you live?
  • Is it in a different part of the world?
  • Does it snow where you live?
  • Is it difficult to raise crops in your area?
  • Use the outer circles of your Venn Diagram to list differences between your area and the Egyptians’ area.

Religion was a major part of ancient Egyptian culture. They worshipped many gods and goddesses, even offering them daily food and drink.

  1. Visit Egyptian Religion from Siteseen Ltd., and scroll down to the “Facts about Egyptian Religion” table.
  2. Use the table to learn more about what the ancient Egyptians believed and how they worshipped their gods.
  3. Take notes on your Venn Diagram when you notice similarities with or differences between your family’s religion and culture and that of the ancient Egyptians.

Discuss what you have learned with your parents.

  • What beliefs are important to your family?
  • How do you express those beliefs?

Ancient Egyptian pharaohs were treated as though they were gods. The people even worshipped them! The Pharaohs wanted to be honored and worshipped in death just as they were in life. Because of this, the Egyptians built elaborate pyramids, rising high above the pharaohs’ burial chambers.

Read more about Egyptian Pyramids from History for Kids. Think about how much dedication and work it took to create these pyramids. With your parent or teacher, discuss the differences you notice between our culture today and that of the ancient Egyptians.

  • How do we honor important leaders in our society today?
  • Do you think it was right for them to put so much effort into honoring their leaders? Why or why not?

After your discussion, move on to the Got It? section to discover how these unique structures were built.

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