Unit 2: Ancient Egypt Area of Study Unit Planner

Rationale:
The unit below is designed with close reference to the advice for teachers document in the hopes that students will enjoy an
exciting and engaging unit that will enable them to easily meet the learning outcomes required for the unit. Students take
part in a range of collaborative and individual learning activities that aid them in developing key historical knowledge and
skills. Students undertake complete analysis of a range of different primary and contemporary secondary source through the
use of ICT in the classroom (Hunt, 2012). Using Vansledright’s source analysis model, students develop a sound
understanding of perspective and reliability of sources presented in the history classroom (Vansledright, 2004). Creative and
varied activities cater to a range of different learning styles, aiming to create an inclusive and collaborative learning setting in
which students teach one another and value the opinions of their peers (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2010). As detailed in the study
design, students develop skills in a range of historical thinking concepts and become well rounded learners who ask historical
questions to develop historical literacy. Students cover all six of Seixas’ historical thinking concepts and progress towards an
understanding of history, rather than just knowledge of content (Seixas, 2013). Due to the enormity of content within this
area of study, an element of lecturing is present in the lessons, though this has mostly been kept to a maximum of two forty
minute lectures per week. To counteract this, a small element of student driven enquiry learning is incorporated into the unit
and is supported again, by ICT (Taylor, Fahey, Kriewaldt & Boon, 2012). This incorporates Levesque’s theory of doing history
rather than simply rote memorising content that is told (Levesque, 2008).
Area of Study: 1
Outcome: 1
Length: 10 weeks
Wee
k

Key
Knowledge

Key Skills

Content (Identify key
concepts)

Pedagogies (Identify higher order
thinking skills)

Resources

1

The physical
environment
of Egypt, with
special
reference to
the Nile, and
its relationship
to the growth
of urban
settlements
(agriculture,

Ask
questions
about
kingship in
Old Kingdom
Egypt to
inform
historical
inquiry

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Introduction to the
Double Crown and the
Unification of Upper and
Lower Egypt

King Narmer and unified Egypt- why was
he successful? + Documentary footage

YouTube
documentary
‘Planet Egypt’

Brooke Adams S00118243


Narmer as a ruler
Peaceful
unification

Nile Valley

Important Geographic regions of Upper
and Lower Egypt.
Activities:
In groups of 4 students will discuss:

Why they believe King Narmer was

Studies in
Ancient Egypt
Lawless, J. &
Cameron, K.
(prescribed text)

Assessmen
t

transport and
patterns of
settlement)

Regions of
Predynastic
Egypt, the
expansion of
Upper Egypt
and the
unification of
Egypt

Consider the
historical
significance
of kingship in
the Old
Kingdom
Egypt


Nile as a life
source
Nile and the
Egyptian King

Nile Delta

Fishing and
hunting and the
Nile
Nile Delta as a
port city

1st Order Concepts:

successful in his quest for
unification
What difficulties Narmer might face
is wearing the Double Crown

Mapping exercise: Students will create an
annotated map of Upper and Lower Egypt.
Students should aim to detail:

Geographical roots
Unified Egypt

Each region’s natural resources
The ways in which these resources
were used agriculturally and
recreationally
The innovation ancient Egyptians
established to survive and prosper

2nd Order Concepts:

2

The physical
environment
of Egypt, with
special
reference to
the Nile, and
its relationship
to the growth
of urban
settlements
(agriculture,
transport and
patterns of
settlement)
Regions of
Predynastic
Egypt, the
expansion of

Ask
questions
about
kingship in
Old Kingdom
Egypt to
inform
historical
inquiry
Explain the
beliefs,
values and
attitudes of
people in Old
Kingdom
Egypt

Brooke Adams S00118243

Establish historical
significance

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Oases Region

Desert regions of Upper and Lower Egypt



Life away from the
Nile
Dakhla
Faiyum

Sinai Peninsula and major
centres and patterns on
settlement along the Nile
(Memphis and Thebes)

Sinai and its links
to Africa and Asia
Memphis- The city
of the Old
Kingdom
Thebes- Upper

Memphis as the city of the Old Kingdom
Life on the Nile: Documentary footage
Activities:
Exit ticket (Facing History and Ourselves,
2015):
What made Thebes and then Memphis
ideal bases for the King?
Students should aim to include the
following information:

Advantages of geographical
location
Their ideas about why the two

YouTube
documentary
‘Planet Egypt’
Prescribed text
Atlas of Ancient
Egypt
Baines, J &
Malek, J.

Upper Egypt
and the
unification of
Egypt

Egypt
The importance of the
Nile for agriculture,
transport and human
settlement

How the Nile is
used and is vital
to Egyptian life
and progress

bases existed
Using an online cartoon strip generator
create a cartoon strip detailing the
different ways in which the inhabitants of
Ancient Egypt used the Nile. Strips should
include:

1st Order Concepts:

Geographical roots
Nile River life
source

The ways and places to which
people travelled
The ways in which the Nile was
used to aid agricultural
development
Urban and regional settlements
along the Nile

2nd Order Concepts:

3

Regions of
Predynastic
Egypt, the
expansion of
Upper Egypt
and the
unification of
Egypt

The
organisation of
power in the
Old Kingdom
Egypt, with
particular
emphasis on
the absolute
and theocratic

Explain the
causes and
consequence
s of changes
in the
distribution
of power
Consider the
historical
significance
of kingship in
the Old
Kingdom
Egypt

Brooke Adams S00118243

Historical
Perspectives

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Prescribed text

Regions of the
Predynastic Period

Thebes: the base of Upper Egypt

Atlas of Ancient
Egypt
Baines, J &
Malek, J.


Lower Egypt- Nile
Delta, Faiyum,
Sinai, Memphis
Eastern and
Western Deserts
Upper EgyptThebes, Kush, Nile
Valley, Nubian
Desert

The expansion of Upper
Egypt and the unification
of Egypt

Upper Egypt as
the dominant

King Narmer’s defeat of the Dominant
Lower Egypt
Activities:
Create a glossary to better understand the
dynamics of Ancient Egypt as a region.
Glossaries should aim to include terms
such as:




Upper Egypt
Lower Egypt
Nomarch
Nile Delta
Nile Valley

Think, pair, share (Facing History and

nature of
Egyptian
kingship, and
the
concentration
of wealth in
the hands of a
few

region
1st Order Concepts:

2nd Order Concepts:

Key terms:
Lower Egypt,
Upper Egypt,
delta, dynasty,
theocratic,
bureaucracy,
and nomarchs
4

The Narmer
Palette as a
source of
evidence for
understanding
the unification
of Egypt
Regions of
Predynastic
Egypt, the
expansion of
Upper Egypt
and the
unification of
Egypt

Predynastic Egypt
Unified Egypt

Construct
arguments
about the
authority of
the king in
Old Kingdom
Egypt using
primary
sources and
historical
interpretatio
ns as
evidence

Cause and
Consequence

Despite the immense natural resources of
Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt was eventually
able to overpower it, why was this so?
Students should aim to detail:

King Narmer’s reign and success in
the north
Narmer’s desire to unite Upper
Egypt in order to conquer Lower
Egypt

Topics:

Class Lectures:

The expansion of Upper
Egypt and the unification
of Egypt

Narmer as the ruler of Upper Egypt, the
unifier and the God Menes + documentary
footage


Narmer and the
God, Menes
Narmer and the
Double Crown

The impact of the
Predynastic Period

Hieroglyphic text
Small villages to
large cities and
communities

1st Order Concepts:

Divine right to rule
Predynastic Egypt

2nd Order Concepts:

Brooke Adams S00118243

Ourselves, 2015):

The legacy of the Predynastic period
Activities:
Film analysis:
Students will watch parts of two
documentaries detailing how Narmer was
able to unify Upper and Lower Egypt.
Using Vansledright’s model of source
analysis students will identify, attribute,
judge perspective and assess the reliability
of the sources and assess two different
historical interpretations of the period
(Vansledright, 2004).

YouTube
documentary
‘Planet Egypt’
YouTube
documentary
‘King Narmer:
King before
Pharaohs’
Prescribed text


5

Regions of
Predynastic
Egypt, the
expansion of
Upper Egypt
and the
unification of
Egypt

Explain the
causes and
consequence
s of changes
in the
distribution
of power

Historical
perspective
Reliability of
evidence

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Prescribed text

The impact of the
Predynastic Period

Power over an empire: the role of Royal
representatives

www.ancient.eu

The administration
of Royal
Representatives

Heirakonpolis

The Narmer
Palette as a
source of
evidence for
understanding
the unification
of Egypt

Predynastic capital
of Upper Egypt

1st Order Concepts:


nd

2

Key archaeological
locations
Ancient Egyptian
government

Order Concepts:

Use primary
source evidence
Historical
significance

Heirakonpolis: Predynastic capital of Upper
Egypt
Activities:
Class debate: students will form two
groups, one representing the King and one
representing the Royal Representatives
across Egypt. Debate teams should aim to
cover:


The Narmer
Palette as a
source of

Compare the
perspectives
of people in

Brooke Adams S00118243

Royal Representatives and their
belief of their right to territory and
wealth
Regional mini dynasties
The divine right of the king to be
the sole autocratic ruler

Big Paper-silent conversation: in groups of
4 students will silently discuss the
significance of Heirakonpolis (Facing
History and Ourselves, 2015). Students
should aim to cover:


6

YouTube
documentary
‘Planet Egypt’

Artefacts found at location
Age of location
The role of Heirakonpolis in the
unification of Upper and Lower
Egypt

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Prescribed text

Heirakonpolis

Heirakonpolis as a historical site

www.ancient.eu

Formative
assessmen

evidence for
understanding
the unification
of Egypt

Old Kingdom
Egypt on
kingship
Compare
historical
interpretatio
ns of
kingship in
Old Kingdom
Egypt

Home of the
Narmer Palette
and many other
artefacts

Analysis of symbolism
and meaning of the
scenes depicted and
historical interpretations
of the artefact

Analysis of
Hieroglyphic text
Analysis of ancient
Egyptian imagery

Narmer palette as a
source for understanding
the unification of Egypt

Imagery of the red
and white crowns
Objects as
documents of
history

1st Order Concepts:

Ancient artefacts
and symbols
Key archaeological
locations

Code breaking: ancient Egyptian texts

t:

Activities:

Primary
Source
analysis.
See
appendices
A.

Website Analysis:
Primary Source Analysis: Students will
view and analyse the content on
http://interactive.archaeology.org/hierakon
polis/

What are the most significant
sources of evidence uncovered at
Heirakonpolis and why?
What do these sources tell us about
the significance of the king in Old
Kingdom Egypt?
What does the length of time taken
to uncover these sources tell us
about the shape of history?

Primary Source Analysis: Narmer Palette
Using Vansledright’s model of source
analysis students will identify, attribute,
judge perspective and assess the reliability
of the Narmer Palette (Vansledright, 2004).
See appendix A for details.

2nd Order Concepts:

7

Egyptian
beliefs
concerning the
afterlife

Compare the
perspectives
of people in
Old Kingdom

Brooke Adams S00118243

Primary source
evidence
Historical
significance

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Prescribed text

Old Kingdom: Social,
Political, Economic

Old Kingdom Social:

www.ancient.eu

Egypt on
kingship

Explain the
beliefs,
values and
attitudes of
people in Old
Kingdom
Egypt




The attitudes of
the people about
the king
The attitudes of
the people about
themselves
Three dynasties of
the Old Kingdom
The role of royal
representatives in
outlying regions
Military expansion
The Age of the
Pyramids
Evidence of great
wealth

1st Order Concepts:


Society in the Old
Kingdom
Politics in the Old
Kingdom
Economics in the
Old Kingdom

2nd Order Concepts:

Historical
perspectives
Ethical dimensions

Old Kingdom Political:
Old Kingdom Economic:
Activities:
Jigsaw (Facing History and Ourselves,
2015):
Students will form three groups. Each
group will put together a presentation in
the form of a Google doc on one of the
following topics:
Old Kingdom Social


Religious beliefs
Role of the king in religious
worship
The chosen people

Old Kingdom Political

3rd-6th dynasties
Royal Representatives in formerly
independent regions

Old Kingdom Economic



The cost and message of the
pyramids
Other architectural endeavours
such as the cult of the Sun God Ra
Trade
Drought

Google docs will be added to the class
Weebly for individual student reference

8

Egyptian
beliefs
concerning the
afterlife

Compare the
perspectives
of people in
Old Kingdom

Brooke Adams S00118243

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Prescribed text

Social structure and
hierarchy

Social hierarchy in Ancient Egypt

YouTube
documentary

The divine right of kings

Egypt on
kingship

Explain the
beliefs,
values and
attitudes of
people in Old
Kingdom
Egypt

The hierarchy of
Egyptian society
as a pyramid
Social and
economic
constraints on
lower classes
Advantages of
middle to higher
classes

The absolute and
theocratic nature of
Egyptian kingship

The divine right of
kings
The king’s
responsibility to
his subjects
Threats to
absolute rule

Activities:

‘Planet Egypt’

Students will create an annotated
‘pyramid’ detailing the social structure and
hierarchy in Ancient Egypt. Students
should detail the following information:


Economic position of people from
each class
Position of women
Social movement among different
classes

Enquiry task:
Students will choose a particular member
of Egyptian society and describe a ‘day in
the life’ of that person. Students should
aim to incorporate information from the
entire unit thus far and may choose to
include independent addition research.
This can be submitted in the form of a
poster/story board or written/video diary

1st Order Concepts:

Society in the Old
Kingdom
Autocratic rule by
divine right

2nd Order Concepts:


9

The
construction of
pyramids at
Djoser,
Meidum,
Dashur and

Explain
continuity
and change
in the design
and
construction

Brooke Adams S00118243

Historical
perspectives
Ethical dimensions

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Location, construction
and size of the Pyramids
during the Old Kingdom

Location, construction and size of the
Pyramids
The purpose of the Pyramids and the

Prescribed text

Giza, and their
relationship to
the authority
of the king,
funerary
practices and
Egyptian
beliefs
concerning the
afterlife

of pyramids
Compare
historical
interpretatio
ns of
kingship in
Old Kingdom
Egypt




Djoser
Meidum
Dashur
Giza

The nature and
significance of the
Pyramids

Technological
advancement
Display of great
wealth

Strengths and
weaknesses of the
Pyramids


Lengthy
construction
periods
High financial cost
Spiritual beliefs
associated

What can the Pyramids
tell us about the beliefs of
the ruler?

Everlasting life
(Ka)
Continuing reign
after death

1st Order Concepts:

Ancient artefacts
and symbols

2nd Order Concepts:

Brooke Adams S00118243

Cause and
consequence
Historical

historical significance they hold
Positive and negative aspects of the
Pyramids
Activities:
Mapping Exercise:
Students will add to their annotated maps
focusing on the Djoser, Meidum, Dashur
and Giza Pyramids, detailing the following
information:





Commissioner of pyramid
Date constructed
Length of construction
Manpower required
Location
Proposed purpose of construction

Document analysis:
Students will read two different historical
interpretations about why the Pyramids
were constructed. Using Vansledright’s
model of source analysis students will
identify, attribute, judge perspective and
assess the reliability of the information
and assess two different historical
interpretations of the period (Vansledright,
2004).


10

The causes
and
consequences
of the demise
of centralised
power in the
Old Kingdom

Explain the
causes and
consequence
s of changes
in the
distribution
of power

perspectives
Ethical dimensions

Topics:

Class Lectures:

Prescribed text

Political and economic
causes and consequences
of the demise of
centralised power and the
unified state in the old
kingdom

Political and economic factors linked to the
fall of the Old Kingdom

YouTube
documentary
‘Planet Egypt’


The role of the
royal
representatives
The death of Pepi
II after a 90 year
reign
Drought
Change in
perception of the
divine right of
kings

Continuity and change in
the First Intermediate
period

Disorganisation
and rotating
dynasties
Continuing artistic
tradition and
development of
pyramids (smaller
scale)
Herakleopolitan
and Theban kings

1st Order Concepts:

Brooke Adams S00118243

Fall of Unified

The First Intermediate period
Activities:
During the lecture on political and
economic factors linked to the fall of the
Old Kingdom, students will use a twocolumn note-taking template to identify
and store relevant information (Facing
History and Ourselves, 2015). Information
recorded should include:


Economic outcome of three decade
drought
Pepi II’s 90 year reign
Escalating power of the Royal
representatives

Students will create a venn diagram and
identify similarities and differences of the
Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate
Period. Students should aim to detail:



Number and lengths of dynasties of
the two periods
Construction of pyramids
Unification or lack there of
Cultural and artistic traditions

Summative
Assessmen
t:
Essay, see
appendices
B.

Egypt
The First
Intermediate
Period

2nd Order Concepts:

Brooke Adams S00118243

Change and
continuity
Cause and
consequence

Appendices A
Formative Assessment:
This formative assessment will take place in week 6 and is designed to
help students to develop their historical thinking skills, with a focus on
using primary source evidence. Students will use the Vansledright source
analysis model and will aim to identify, attribute, judge the perspective
and assess the reliability of the source (Vansledright, 2004). This task will
be differentiated in that some students will be provided with scaffolding
questions to aid their analysis (see highlighted below).
Source 1: Palette of Narmer (c. 31st cen. B.C.E)

ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com

1. Identify the source above. (2 marks)
1. Identify 2 marks



What type of source is this?
Why was it created?
When was it created?
What type of text can you identify?

Brooke Adams S00118243

ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com

2. Attribute the creator of the source above. (4 marks)
2. Attribute 4 marks


Who created this source?
What does this source say about kingship in Old Kingdom Egypt?
What does this source say about King Narmer?

3. Judge the perspective of the source above. (4 marks)
3. Judging perspective 4 marks

What was the position of the creator?
Why did they feel this way?

4. Assess the reliability of the source above. (5 marks)
4. Reliability assessment 5 marks

Is this source a reliable account of the reign of King Narmer?
Provide evidence to support your answer.

Appendices B
Summative Assessment:
To be completed at the end of the unit, students will write an 800-word
essay that will encompass the key knowledge and skills developed
throughout the unit. Students will display a broad knowledge of Old
Kingdom Ancient Egypt and present an understanding of continuity and
change, historical interpretations, historical significance, beliefs and
values of the populations and cause and consequence across the period.
Essay Question
Identify and evaluate the key factors that led to the fall of the Old
Kingdom in Ancient Egypt.

Brooke Adams S00118243

Summative Assessment Rubric:

1-10

11-20

21-30

31-40

41-40

Limited identification of
historical significance of
the key causes for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Some identification of
historical significance of
the key causes for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Sound identification of
historical significance of
the key causes for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Thoughtful identification
of historical significance
of the key causes for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Comprehensive
identification of historical
significance of the key
causes for the demise of
the Old Kingdom.

Limited descriptions of
the causes and
consequences for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Some descriptions of the
causes and
consequences for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Sound descriptions of the
causes and
consequences for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Thoughtful descriptions
of the causes and
consequences for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Comprehensive
descriptions of the causes
and consequences for the
demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Limited identification of
continuity and change
throughout the duration
of the Old Kingdom with
little focus on change as
a contributor to the fall of
the Old Kingdom.

Some identification of
continuity and change
throughout the duration
of the Old Kingdom with
some focus on change as
a contributor to the fall of
the Old Kingdom.

Sound identification of
continuity and change
throughout the duration
of the Old Kingdom with
sound focus on change as
a contributor to the fall of
the Old Kingdom.

Thoughtful identification
of continuity and change
throughout the duration
of the Old Kingdom with
thoughtful focus on
change as a contributor
to the fall of the Old
Kingdom.

Comprehensive
identification of
continuity and change
throughout the duration
of the Old Kingdom with
detailed focus on change
as a contributor to the fall
of the Old Kingdom.

Limited evaluation of the
beliefs and values of
people as a contributor
for the demise of the Old

Some evaluation of the
beliefs and values of
people as a contributor
for the demise of the Old

Sound evaluation of the
beliefs and values of
people as a contributor
for the demise of the Old

Thoughtful evaluation of
the beliefs and values of
people as a contributor
for the demise of the Old

Comprehensive
evaluation of the beliefs
and values of people as a
contributor for the

Brooke Adams S00118243

Kingdom.

Kingdom.

Kingdom.

Kingdom.

demise of the Old
Kingdom.

Limited evaluation of the
social, political and
economic perspectives of
people for the period of
the Old Kingdom.

Some evaluation of the
social, political and
economic perspectives of
people for the period of
the Old Kingdom.

Sound evaluation of the
social, political and
economic perspectives of
people for the period of
the Old Kingdom.

Thoughtful evaluation of
the social, political and
economic perspectives of
people for the period of
the Old Kingdom.

Comprehensive
evaluation of the social,
political and economic
perspectives of people for
the period of the Old
Kingdom.

Limited evaluation of
Historical interpretations
of significance to the
period of the Old
Kingdom.

Some evaluation of
Historical interpretations
of significance to the
period of the Old
Kingdom.

Sound evaluation of
Historical interpretations
of significance to the
period of the Old
Kingdom.

Thoughtful evaluation of
Historical interpretations
of significance to the
period of the Old
Kingdom.

Comprehensive
evaluation of Historical
interpretations of
significance to the period
of the Old Kingdom.

Brooke Adams S00118243

References:
Baines, J. & Malek, J. (1990). Atlas of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Equinox.
Boon, D., Fahey, C., Kriewaldt, J. & Taylor, T. (2012). Place and Time: Explorations in Teaching
Geography and History. NSW: Pearson Australia.
Hunt, M. Teaching History in Secondary School. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Lawless, J. & Cameron, K. (2009). Studies in Ancient Egypt. NSW: Cengage Learning Australia.
Levesque, S. (2008). Thinking Historically. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Seixas, P. & Morton, T. The Big Six: Historical Thinking Concepts. Toronto: Nelson Education.
Vansledright, B. What Does it Mean to Think Historically and How do You Teach it? Social
Education 2004, vol 68 (3), 230-233. Retrieved from:
https://nau.edu/uploadedFiles/Academic/CAL/History/HistorySocial_Studies_Education/VanSledright,%20What%20does%20it%20mean%20to%20Think
%20Historically.pdf
Woolfolk, A. & Margetts, K. (2010). Educational Psychology. NSW: Pearson Australia.
VCAA, (2015). Advice For Teachers.
VCCA, (2015). VCE History Study Design.
Ancient Egypt. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from http://www.ancient.eu/search/?q=sinai
peninsula&sa.x=0&sa.y=0&sa=Search
Interactive Dig Hierakonpolis - From the Field. (2009, April 1). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from
http://interactive.archaeology.org/hierakonpolis/field/index.html
Resource Collections. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from https://www.facinghistory.org/foreducators/educator-resources/resource-collections#top
YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJdB8ZEo40I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh9ByB2jVU4

Brooke Adams S00118243