Teacher's Guide for DIG TM King Tut

January 2006

Teacher Guide prepared by: Lisa Greenberg. Lisa Greenberg taught in international schools in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. She now lives and writes for children`s and travel magazines in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This issue with its mix of mummies, mystery, a young royal, fabulous art and treasure, and archeology will excite students. Pick and choose among the activities below for individuals and small groups of students to extend and enhance their understanding of Tutankhamun and his times.


Gather together as many materials on ancient Egypt, and particularly Tutankhamun, as you can and create a quiet study corner for students to pursue their particular interests. Arrange posters, either from museums or travel offices, maps of Egypt, particularly its archeological sites, and other items to invite interest. You may wish to coordinate with the school librarian to select some light reading, such as novels or mysteries set in Egypt, as well as research materials to add to the study corner.


Display the cover of the magazine and ask students to share knowledge or questions they have about King Tutankhamun's face mask. You might want to select student "secretaries" to note facts about different topics covered, e.g. Art, History, the role of the Pharaoh, the discovery of the tomb, etc., on butcher block sheets for display or you may want to make a list of FACTS and QUESTIONS yourself.

"Find of a Century", pp 6-9

Group/Cooperative Learning: Assign small groups to

  1. Make a cartoon strip/poster about the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, beginning with Lord Carnarvon's car accident.
  2. Answer all the questions asked about the tomb discovery in the Introduction Activity.
  3. Make up 20 detail question/answer cards from information from the article to use in an "end of unit" Trivia Contest. You may wish to invite a team of students to make up these question/answer cards for each of the articles in the magazine.
  4. Build a diorama of the interior of the tomb OR floor plan.
  5. Research a list of other major archeological finds and create a time line.

"Who Was King Tut?" Pp. 10-11

Creative Non-fiction Writing:

Challenge students, individually or in pairs, to weave the information and "clues" in the article into a short story, journal entry, letter, or newspaper feature.

Discussion and Critical Thinking:

What does the information in this article tell you about the relationship between religion and the role of the Pharaoh?

"Growing Up in Amarna", pp. 12-14

Compare and Contrast Essay Writing:

In class discussion, help students list ways in which Tutankhaten's life in Amarna and their daily lives are the SAME and DIFFERENT. You may wish to list these on the chalkboard or butcher block paper.

Review the structure of a compare and contrast paragraph or essay, depending on the ability and skills of students. Then have students write individual compare and contrast essays and share them in small groups or on a bulletin board. You may wish to collect them for a class book or for the end of unit activity.

"The Tomb Speaks", pp. 16-19

Research/Cooperative Learning

Divide students into small groups to do one of the following projects:

  1. Pick two or three symbols mentioned in the article and research their meaning. For example, why is there a funerary boat instead of a carriage or horse? What does that tell the viewer about the Egyptian's view of life after death? Present your findings in a storyboard or illustrated essay.
  2. Find out how the mummy-shaped coffins developed and changed. Demonstrate changes in an illustrated time line.
  3. What did ancient Egyptians believe about the soul? Present your findings to the class.
  4. Challenge students to discover what happens in each chapter/hour of the Amduat, "What is in the Underworld?" Present findings in illustrated and/or written format.
  5. List the different gods represented in the paintings described in the article. Tell what each god symbolizes in Egyptian mythology.
  6. Design or create a piece of jewelry, such as the one shown on the Art-I-facts page. Use several of the symbols discussed in the article and combine them into a story.

"Inside the Tomb", pp. 20-22

Fact/Inference - Critical Reading:

Work with students in whole group to determine what is fact and what is inference in this article. You may wish to list these in two columns on the chalkboard; for example, the FACT that a small gold pendant of Amenhotep III was placed in Tutankhamun's tomb leads to the INFERENCE that Tutankhamun loved his ancestors.

At the end of the exercise, discuss how archeologists work to draw inferences about ancient cultures from the artifacts which they find in tombs, archeological digs, village trash heaps, etc.

"Reading the Scans", pp. 25-27

After reading the article, have students chart or discuss how views of Tutankhamun and how he died changed as new technology became available. Encourage students to view the images at www.guardians.net/hawass and think about what they show about the young Pharaoh.

"A Widow's Plea" and "A Murder Mystery," pp. 28-30

Creative Expression or Research: Have students choose one of the following projects to work on alone or in a group

  1. Dramatize the story of Ankhesenamun and Tutankhamun and present to the class.
  2. Create and illustrate a comic book or poster describing Anhesanamun's story after her husband's death.
  3. Write three or four journal entries for Ankhesanamun from the time before and after her husband's death.
  4. Describe Ankhesenamun's character from the information in the article.
  5. Research the life of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma, Ankhesanamun's second husband Ay, or the Egyptian general Horemheb.
  6. Find out more about the writings of Mursili and share your findings with the class orally or in a text presentation.

Wrap up: Celebrate Egypt! Have an ancient Egyptian party with students dressing up (and making up!) as ancient Egyptian royalty and sharing food from those times. Play a game of Egyptian trivia from the Q&A cards made by students from the magazine.

If this is not possible, invite another class to come to the different project presentations, such as the dramatization of Ankhesanamun's life and to view the various posters, research papers, class books, and displays.

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