The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 5

Notes and Lesson Plans

Ancient Mythology: Egypt
updated January 11, 2022

Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!

This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.

This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your fifth grade year. Enjoy!

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Ancient Mythology: Egypt
for Class 5

Pinterest - Renee Schwartz
My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for Ancient Egypt.

*NEW* Ancient Egypt Booklist blog post

FREE eBooks at the Online Waldorf Library
Excellent resource! Published Waldorf curriculum books provided here in PDF format for you to download, keep, and read... for free!

Other Helpful Links

Books to Buy

I know that there is one token myth for Egypt at the end of Charles Kovacs's Ancient Mythologies book ("Isis and Osiris") and I always resented that fact. As a child I was obsessed with Ancient Egypt, teaching myself to read hieroglyphs, writing messages on scrolls of calculator tape that only I could read, absorbing every single thing I could get my hands on to read about Egypt (both fiction and non-fiction)... and fully intending to become an archaeologist when I grew up.

I'm certainly not the only child, or person, to become entranced by this wonderful civilization.

Now I have decided to devote an entire main lesson to the Egyptian myths and pharaohs. This topic is actually the perfect transition in fifth grade from mythology to true history!

The best book for the job is Gods & Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology, from the fabulous World Mythology Series. This book is out of print now and you can find copies of it very inexpensively.

There are 26 stories in all plus some end notes about hieroglyphic writing, plenty for two blocks. If you prefer to focus on mythology and not transition your child completely into history just yet, I would suggest doing a three week block using just the first nine chapters.

NEW: There is a brand-new book out called Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Mythology for Kids by Morgan E. Moroney, and it is excellent! I'm really looking forward to using this book the next time I teach this block, since it covers many myths that were new to me!

Table of Contents from Gods & Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology

Story #1 - Red land, black land

Story #2 - The waters of chaos

Story #3 - The nine gods

Story #4 - The secret name of Ra

Story #5 - The Eye of the Sun

Story #6 - The anger of Ra

Story #7 - The murder of Osiris

Story #8 - The conflict of Horus and Seth

Story #9 - The journey of the soul
[end of mythology; transition into history]

Story #10 - The seven-year famine

Story #11 - King Khufu and the magicians

Story #12 - The eloquent peasant

Story #13 - The shipwrecked sailor

Story #14 - The prince and the sphinx

Story #15 - The capture of Joppa

Story #16 - The doomed prince

Story $17 - The two brothers

Story #18 - The blinding of Truth

Story #19 - The Sun Pharaoh

Story #20 - The Princess of Bakhtan

Story #21 - The Book of Thoth

Story #22 - The young magician

Story #23 - The sealed letter

Story #24 - The clever thief

Story #25 - The voyage of Wenamon

Story #26 - Egypt in decline

Story #27 - Writing in ancient Egypt

Story #28 - Symbols in the Egyptian myths

Additional Resources:

Main Lesson Block Notes from Gods & Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology
I decided to focus on the mythology but weave some factual information and activities in. I also chose to present the background information using Edna McGuire's book because it is written in a much more child-friendly way than chapter #1 (Red land, black land) of the Mythology book.


Day One

Day Two

Day Three

    continue with "Egypt, the Gift of a River" from The Past Lives Again

      Religious Beliefs (pp.55-59)
      The gods, The beliefs about death

      Homes and Home Life (pp.59-70)
      Peeps at Egyptian houses, Visiting a swineherd, Visiting a poulterer, Visiting a farmer, Visiting an army officer, Attending a party, The end of the journey

      At the conclusion of the chapter (pp.71-76) she provides a word game, a map study exercise, several tests, additional suggested activities, and a booklist.

    sample watercolor painting of pyramids (Becca was inspired by this painting and did a similar scene, but with our favorite new art material: gelatos)

    look at Pyramid

    sample chalkboard drawing of pyramid and Sphinx

    sample chalkboard drawing inside a pyramid

    sample chalkboard drawing of canopic jars

    play Passing Through the Netherworld board game

    KING CLUCK, 2012:
    make a chicken mummy using a Cornish game hen
    this will require rubbing alcohol, three extra large ziploc bags, many boxes of kosher salt, rubber gloves, and a 9 x 13 baking dish for it to sit in while it dessicates

      CLUCKOPATRA, 2018:
      this year, my second time making a mummy, we used a whole chicken and it would not fit in a gallon ziploc bag once we added the salt, so we stored it in a jumbo-sized tin from a gift of fancy Christmas popcorn (see photos here)

      Jan 15 - remove giblet bag, soak chicken overnight in a gallon ziploc bag filled with a whole bottle of rubbing alcohol

      Jan 16 - discard rubbing alcohol, place chicken in tin on a bed of salt and cover with kosher salt, fill body cavity with salt as well - 2 1/2 boxes (7.5 lbs)

      Jan 18 - discard old salt and put in new salt - 1 1/2 boxes (4.5 lbs)

      Jan 22 - discard old salt and put in new salt - 2 boxes (6 lbs)

      Jan 25 - discard old salt and put in new salt - 2 boxes (6 lbs)

      Feb 1 - discard old salt and put in new salt - 2 boxes (6 lbs)

      Feb 8 - discard old salt and put in new salt - 2 boxes (6 lbs)

      Feb 15 - discard old salt and wrap mummy in clean strips from a white cotton sheet, wrapping each leg and wing individually before wrapping the strips around the entire body, add spices and clay amulets and charms during the wrapping, place the mummy in a cardboard pyramid-shaped tomb along with a scroll in hieroglyphs wishing it well on its journey into the afterlife

      (tear an entire twin size flat sheet into strips for the wrapping... it takes more than you think)

    A KEY TIP:
    Since you don't get to touch the mummy while it soaks in the salt, and play with it, and see what the salt is doing and how it is working, I have us "mummify cucumber slices" first. Simply slice up a cucumber and put it on a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt. Then the kids can mess with them as much as they want. The salt will soak up the liquid in the cucumber and get wet. Then change the salt. This helps your students to see the process first hand before you do it with a chicken.

Day Four


Day Five

Day Six

Day Seven

Day Eight


Day Nine

Day Ten

Day Eleven

Day Twelve

Table of Contents from Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Mythology for Kids by Morgan E. Moroney

    Ra - The Sun God

    Shu and Tefnut - God of Air and Goddess of Moisture

    Geb and Nut - God of Earth and Goddess of the Sky

    Neith - Goddess of Creation and War

    Osiris - God of the Underworld

    Isis - Goddess of Magic, Thrones, and Healing

    Horus the Child and Horus the Elder - Child God of Healing and Falcon God of Kings

    Seth - God of Deserts, Storms, War, and Chaos

    Nephthys and the Four Sons of Horus - Goddess of the Dead and Guardians of the Dead

    Anubis - God of Mummification

    Serqet - Goddess of Scorpions

    Hathor - Goddess of Love, Music, and Celebration

    Sekhmet - Goddess of Power, War, and Plague

    Bastet - Goddess of Cats, Joy, and Motherhood

    Ptah - God of Craftsmen

    Thoth - God of Knowledge, Writing, and Scribes

    Seshat - Goddess of Scribes, Building, and Astronomy

    Bes and Taweret - God and Goddess of Home, Childbirth, Women, and Children

    Sobek - God of Crocodiles and the Waters

    Khnum - God of Potters and the Flood

My Blog Posts from Teaching This Topic in 2018
using the teaching notes above

My Blog Posts from Teaching This Topic in 2019
using the two Egypt chapters from Stories of the Ancient Peoples by Henry Smith Chapman

My Blog Posts from Teaching This Topic in 2021
using Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt: Egyptian Mythology for Kids by Morgan E. Moroney

we focused on the legends and I wove in extra information as it fit within the context of the story

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