Activities & Lesson Plans - 3rd & 4th Grade Newsletter 3/05/10 - Unearthing Ancient Egypt

Grade: 3rd-4th

March 5, 2010 | Grades 3&4

In This Issue:A Big Pharaoh Find, 2010 Academy Awards, Culinary Math

A Massive Discovery
Heads-up from Egypt: Archaeologists have discovered a giant red granite head belonging to a statue of Amenhotep III. The pharaoh ruled from 1387-1348 B.C., a time noted for peace and luxury.  

Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Tell your child that the ancient Egyptians created a form of
picture writing known as hieroglyphs. Each image was a symbol that represented something they saw in their surroundings, i.e., a drawing of the sun represented the sun. Use this information to help answer the Quiz Questions below.

1. Soon the ancient Egyptians realized this system:
a. made it difficult for non-artists to communicate.
b. would make it too easy for tomb raiders to "eavesdrop" on their communications.
made it difficult to communicate more complicated ideas. 

. They decided to draw symbols of things that sounded like what they were trying to say. For example, if an ancient Egyptian wanted to express "belief," he would draw a bee and a leaf. How might this become a problem? 
a. Your hand would get really tired after only one word.
b. It could take too long and be confusing.
c. Really? Try drawing the word Tutenkhamun.

3. Eventually each symbol came to represent a specific sound. Several symbols together made a word. Archaeologists have found hieroglyphs on:
a. the walls of tombs and temples.
b. bathroom doors.
c. the surface of the moon.

4. Hieroglyph means "sacred carved writing." This likely means that:
a. people carved the symbols on the walls.
b. people used magic markers to draw the symbols.
c. archaeologists have no idea how the symbols got on the walls.

Bonus: Suggest that your child make up his or her own picture alphabet with enough symbols to say something about an activity or hobby that he or she is interested in.
Visit National Geographic's Translator to see what your name looks like in hieroplyphs.

Up Image: DogThe Oscar Goes To ...

The stars will be out for the 2010 Academy Awards, on Sunday March 7. Who will take home an Oscar—Avatar? The Blind Side? Up?  


Activity Ideas - Language Arts
Stories and Literature


  • Have your child think of a few favorite movie characters. 
  • List the qualities, habits and behaviors that make this character so likable. 
  • Cite specific examples from the film of these likable traits.
Venn Diagram: Big Screen vs. Book
  • Have your child choose a book that was adapted into a movie. If he or she has read the book and seen the movie, great! If not, read it, see it, or both.
  • Use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast how a character's traits are revealed in a book and a movie. 
Learning Tips: Characterization


Eating and Arithmetic
Kneading, slicing and arithmetic have become a recipe for success for 7th graders at the Center for Creative Arts, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The school's instructional coach started a program called Culinary Math for students struggling with the subject. Kids are lapping up the lessons, from a candy-making class that taught ratios and proportions to a class on creating garnishes and drawing them to scale.

Activity Ideas - Math

  • Find a cookie recipe you would like to try. Review the ingredients.
  • Using the Equivalent Measurements below, have your child verify the information, i.e., put flour in one-cup measure using a tablespoon.

Bonus: Have your child double the recipe. Then challenge him or her to convert the cup measurements into tablespoons and double the amount of tablespoons.

Equivalent Measures
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 tablespoons +1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 tablespoons = 1cup
2 cups = 1 pint 
4 cups = 1 quart
8 cups = 1/2 gallon 
4 quarts = 1 gallon

Learning Tips: Write How to Convert Units

Game of the Week
Home Run Derby Math

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