02. Ancient Mediterranean, Art & Humanities, Teaching

Lesson Plan: Egyptian Mortuary Religion & Art

Lesson Plan: Egyptian Mortuary Religion & Art

Note: I do not do straight lecture a lot, certainly not a whole block period. This lesson is an example of a mix of lecture with student-led activities that keeps 100 minutes from getting stale.

I covered all the artworks directly related to death and the afterlife in this lesson, which is a lot! This is structured for a 100-minute block period, however you could easily split it into two 50-minute days (Day 1: Book of the Dead, Tutankhamun’s tomb, & Karnak then Day 2: Great Pyramids & Mortuary temple)

Book of the Dead

There are so many ways to teach the Book of the Dead and I have done a few different styles in Humanities/AP Art History. Sadly, time is the master of us all in this course and I have to cut a lot of the fluff here, but feel free to check out this blog post with some other ideas.

I give each student a print out of the page from the Book of the Dead (along with the color image projected on the board). I ask them to look deeply and try to guess at the narrative with, talking with their partner/group. No writing yet! I then introduce the students to the Egyptian gods and ask then to find each of these characters as I describe them (yes, I tell them the juicy story about Osiris!).

Once they are armed with that information, I allow them 5 minutes to talk to their partner to refine their idea about the narrative in the page of the Book of the Dead. To finish up, the watch the Khan Academy video on the Last judgement of Hunefer and label the image while they are listening.

Read more: What is a Book of the Dead?

Tutankhamen’s Tomb & Temple of Amun-Re, Karnak

There are  SO MANY resources of these two images, too many to sift through and none of them I feel are great for my needs. So I lecture on these to artworks. My slides though are really just pictures, and minimal words. I am not an expert on either piece, so every year I end up (the night before) brushing up again on my content knowledge before class.

Note: I find the Temple complex of Amun-Re exhausting and I have a hard time focusing with it. College Board I would appreciate more clarification on what you want me to focus on here!

FFCC Chart: Mortuary Architecture

This ends the block period, or if you are on a shorter daily schedule than I am you can do this on it’s own day. FFCC charts are an incredibly important part of my AP Art History class and this is our introduction to them. I give students chart paper, or very large poster paper, and ask them to recreate the chart below on their paper.

Students are to work with their partner to fill in this chart with information on the two mortuary monuments. I tell them every box most be filled in but they may not all be equal. This is a great time for them to use their AFFCC cheet sheet to remind them of what each part is looking for. I provide the students with electronic resources and their textbook to find information. They are timed 40 minutes to get their charts done.

So there you have it! A lesson with video, lecture, and a student-led activity!



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