Lesson 5: Egyptian Religion and Myths
In the previous lesson, you learned about the history of ancient Egypt. In this lesson, you'll delve more deeply into Egyptian religion and mythology.
Stuff You Need
- Ancient Civilizations by Joseph Fullman (DK Eyewitness)
- Ancient Civilization Timeline Cards
- colored pencils* (Activity 3 - Option 2)
- colored pencils* (Activity 1 - optional)
- construction paper
- note cards* (Activity 3 - Option 1)
- stapler* (Activity 3 - Option 2)
- tape, glue stick, or glue
- white paper* (Activity 3 - Option 2)
- World History Timeline
* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed
Ideas to Think About
- How did the environment (landforms, locations, natural resources, and climate) influence the ancient peoples of Mesopotamia and Egypt?
- How does religion influence political and social systems in different cultures?
- How are the values and beliefs of various cultures reflected in their art and literature?
Things to Know
- Egyptian kings were thought to represent the gods and had great power.
- Egyptians worshiped a large number of different gods and told many different stories about the gods.
- Religion was an important part of daily life, not only for royalty and the priests of Egyptian temples but also for ordinary people.
- Analyze the development of early civilizations in Africa, c. 8000 BCE to 600 CE. (SS)
- Trace the development and assess the achievements in the arts, sciences, and technology of early river civilizations, including those around the Nile (Egypt) and Tigris-Euphrates (Mesopotamia) rivers. (SS)
- Analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. (SS)
- Understand the relationship between religion and the social and political order in Mesopotamia and Egypt. (SS)
- Discuss the main features of Egyptian art and architecture. (SS)
Introducing the Lesson
In this lesson, your child will explore the roles of religion and mythology in ancient Egyptian society.
Materials: Ancient Civilizations by Joseph Fullman (DK Eyewitness)Read pages 14-17 of Ancient Civilizations.
You may find it helpful to pre-read this selection, paying attention to the headings, sub-headings, and images and writing down a few questions that you have about the topics covered in this reading selection. As you read, you may also wish to to write down a short summary after each 2-page section. Once you have carefully read the selection, answer these questions.
- What did Egyptians see as the relationship between Egyptian kings and the gods?Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was half man and half god. He or she was also Egypt's highest religious leader.
- What did Egyptians believe was necessary for them to enter the afterlife?Their name had to be written down, their body had to be mummified, and they had to have lived a good life with hearts free from sin.
- What did Egyptians believe happened to people who could not enter the afterlife?They were eaten by a monster called Ammut the Devourer, and they would then cease to exist.