By Dr. Mike Norris, Consulting Educator
Between mummies, buried gold, and pictographic codes, no wonder kids love those ancient Egyptians and their wildly dramatic culture. Tap into your child's weakness for all things Egyptian and give him a fabulous glimpse into the history of language.
Hieroglyphics (pronounced "highrowgliffick") was a writing system in which words are simple drawings of the thing being described. In this sense, Egyptian writers — called scribes — were artists as well as writers! But that wasn't all. These pictures could also stand for things connected with themselves; for instance, the picture for "mouth" could have the meaning of "speak," for "arm," the meaning of "give." Some of the pictures could even stand for sounds — like the letters of our alphabet do.
These links to Egyptian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art show how ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphic writing in their world:
This activity offers kids a way to learn about ancient Egyptian pictograms and thereby understand a little more about how our writing has evolved.
As a warm-up, try to communicate the following words through poses or simple actions: "cat," "walking," "dog," or "tree." Now, using pencils or crayons, make two separate pictures, one from each of the following sentences: "Under a hot sun, a cat went into a house" and "The light of the moon showed the dog the tree." Can you point out which part of the picture means the sun, a cat, or a house? Or a moon, dog, or tree?
Next cut out these parts of the pictures (best done with the help of an adult). On a fresh sheet of paper, glue the parts that make up the sentence: "The cat went to the tree in the moonlight." Have your child show his pictograms to someone not familiar with the activity to guess what this "Egyptian" sentence means!
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.