Ancient Egypt

Case 3: The Pyramids - Eternal Monuments

BIG IDEA: Some all-powerful leaders demand great monuments to honor and immortalize them.

Discussion questions:

  • How was it possible, do you suppose, for such mammoth structures to be built in these ancient times, with no modern equipment?
  • What kinds of living and working arrangements, do you suppose, needed to be made for such a large group of workers?
  • What do you suppose causes a ruler to want a monument to honor him? What's behind such thinking? What are your ideas?
  • How does the building of such monuments serve the people of a society? How does it disadvantage them?
  • What made the builders of the pyramids choose a triangular structure? Why not a square or a rectangle? What are your ideas on that? What do you see as some engineering problems in using this kind of shape?
  • What do you suppose made it possible for the pyramids to remain standing after so many years? What accounts for it? What structures, from your own town, city, state, do you suppose will last for the next 5,000 years? What makes you think that's true?

Case 4: Life in the Palace of the Pharaohs

BIG IDEA: There was a great divide between the rich people who lived in the palace of the Pharaoh, and the peasants, farmers and artisans.

Discussion questions:

  • How would you describe life in the palace of the pharaohs? What data do you have to support that description?
  • How was life in the palace different from the lives of the workers?
  • How do you suppose people wound up in their particular social class?
  • How was it possible for people to move up or down the social class ladder? What are your ideas about that?
  • How do you explain the fact that the rich had such fabulous wealth and power while the poor Egyptians had so little? How does such imbalance occur? What are your ideas?

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