Put on Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care in the First Month of School (and the rest of the year, too!)

Put on Your Oxygen Mask First: Self-Care in the First Month of School (and the rest of the year, too!)


Are your batteries dead? No, I’m not talking about your laptop that died while you were writing a lesson plan, or your phone that died between refreshes of your work email or classroom app.
Whether you’re already running on empty or anticipating the madness of the first weeks of school, recognizing the importance for self-care in the classroom should be on your radar. Teacher burnout is real and it’s rampant, especially in a day and age where standards are constantly changing, techniques and methods are being renamed, modified, and reinstated, and the bell between first period and seventh seems longer and longer with each passing day.  Self-care may be the buzz word of 2019, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant or important for teachers to consider. #teacherburnout #burnout #selfcare #selfcareforteachers #selfcareinclassroom #teacherpreservation

Many districts went back to school this week, or last. Some may still have a week of summer freedom before the year begins. Whether you’re already running on empty or anticipating the madness of the first weeks of school, recognizing the importance for self-care in the classroom should be on your radar. Teacher burnout is real and it’s rampant, especially in a day and age where standards are constantly changing, techniques and methods are being renamed, modified, and reinstated, and the bell between first period and seventh seems longer and longer with each passing day.

Self-care may be the buzz word of 2019, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant or important for teachers to consider.

SELF-CARE MYTH #1: I can’t afford self-care.

Self-care doesn’t have to mean expensive massages, overpriced mani-pedis, or top-shelf wine in the cute, monogrammed cup you received from a student last Christmas. 

In fact, there are many ways you can bring self-care into your classroom and into your life without breaking the bank. Recharging your batteries doesn’t require a lightening cord or a micro-pin charger, but it does require a commitment to yourself and your wellbeing. How does the adage go? In case of emergency, put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. If you haven’t taken care of yourself, how can you possibly be available to help your students?

SELF-CARE MYTH #2: I don’t have time for self-care.

Self-care doesn’t require huge blocks of free time, meticulous planning, or a people-free zone (though people-free can be great, too). 

Though that secluded, relaxing cabin-in-the-woods vibe can definitely quell the stresses of everyday life, many of us live lives that demand our presence everyday. We work our full time jobs, take care of our families, clean our houses, binge our favorite TV shows, cook dinner, and sleep. (Wait, when are we supposed to be sleeping?!) We certainly don’t have time to escape reality for an extended weekend of quiet and content. Instead, we can recognize that many less extravagant self-care activities exist that demand much less of our free time.


SELF-CARE MYTH #3: Self-care is silly. I don’t need to take care of me. I do fine without.

Everyone needs self-care, whether they feel the pressure and stress yet or not.

If you’ve never felt the depths of burnout, that’s awesome! Maybe you’re a first year teacher who handles stress well, or maybe you’re even a tenured educator who separates work life from home life better than most. But the reality is that forgoing your oxygen mask will only lead to disaster. You may still be going strong, but what use is a car without an oil change and tire rotation? How does that wine taste, before it’s been fermented and meticulously aged and packaged with care? And the fragile package you send without ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’ scrawled on the side? Does it make it to the destination unscathed?

In reality, teaching is hard work!

Teaching is a demanding job. You are subject to many requirements and often face challenges with administration, students, parents, colleagues, the workload, technology, or changing expectations.

Teaching is a tireless job. You work non-stop throughout the school year, oftentimes well into the night, grading papers and tests, reviewing student work, planning lessons, collaborating with other teachers, participating in continuing education, but at least you get summers off! <eye roll>

And, teaching is often a thankless job. You may feel under-appreciated, overworked, and underpaid.

Being proactive with your self-care may delay that feeling of burnout, and preserve your sanity until retirement (or at least get you to summer break!).

5 Quick & Easy Self-Care Methods for the Classroom

1. Chair Yoga
Practice a few easy, seated yoga poses between bells. Yoga can be especially great for those who have carpal tunnel, wrist problems, or a stiff neck. Stretch out those kinks while tuning out the hallway noise for 60 seconds of peace.

2. Desk Drinks
No, not the alcoholic kind - that’s definitely frowned upon in the classroom! But keep a few of your favorite drinks stashed in your mini fridge or your desk drawer. A perfectly-timed iced frappe, Dr. Pepper 20 oz., or flavored water can really hit the spot.

3. Sneak-able Snacks
Whether salty or sweet, keep your favorite indulgent snack or candy in your desk. Skip the calorie counting and savor the flavor instead. Bonus points if you can sneak bites between bells or munch quietly during a test.

4. Hightail it to Narnia
You may not have a long planning period or student-free break, but even a few minutes of rejuvenation can get you through a stressful day! If you can carve out some space for a bean bag chair or ottoman to prop up your feet, you can take a few minutes at lunch to zone out the stress and get lost in the pages of whatever book tops your TBR. Just read fast so you’re not caught on a cliffhanger when lunch ends!

5. Ease the Environment
Harsh, fluorescent lighting and the drowning noise of paper shuffling and sneakers scuffling are not conducive to a stress-free environment. Turn off the overhead lighting and introduce some softer lights. Consider playing classical music in the background while students work quietly.

Are your batteries dead? No, I’m not talking about your laptop that died while you were writing a lesson plan, or your phone that died between refreshes of your work email or classroom app. You need self-care! #selfcare #classroomselfcare #teacherselfcare #newteachers #experiencedteachers #teacherburnoutisreal #fighttheburnout
Bonus tip! Sometimes the best self-care is a day to yourself. Don’t feel guilty if you need a mental health day. Leave some sub plans and sleep in! 

Happy teaching!


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Michele Luck
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Teaching Inquiry and Primary Source Analysis at Any Grade Level

Teaching Inquiry and Primary Source Analysis at Any Grade Level


Daycare, preschool, and kindergarten teachers may be familiar with the doe-eyed look staring back at them as they present their class with new, intriguing information. Parents have likely experienced the never-ending stream of consciousness that mounts in frustration as their toddler asks a hundred and one questions and continually prods, never satisfied. Unfortunately, teachers and parents of older children may see that spark of curiosity less often. They may experience a child's intrigue as it dwindles. Sometimes, they don't even notice that the intensity of inquiry has slipped away.
Daycare, preschool, and kindergarten teachers may be familiar with the doe-eyed look staring back at them as they present their class with new, intriguing information. Parents have likely experienced the never-ending stream of consciousness that mounts in frustration as their toddler asks a hundred and one questions and continually prods, never satisfied. Unfortunately, teachers and parents of older children may see that spark of curiosity less often. They may experience a child's intrigue as it dwindles. Sometimes, they don't even notice that the intensity of inquiry has slipped away. #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #teachingmethods #elementaryteachers #lessonplanning
As adults in today's world, we are continuously busy, immersed in work or technology, and we often forget about the sense of intrigue, the amazement of discovery, the engagement that we once felt as we learned a new skill or fact. Unfortunately, our children lose this desire to inquire earlier and earlier with each passing generation. Though our common classroom challenges, like incorporating common core, preparing for standardized testing, squeezing in assemblies and school-wide events and award ceremonies, take up a lot of our class time, finding time to encourage inquiry at an early age, and throughout elementary school (and middle school... oh, and high school, too!) is so critical for student development and growth.

Teaching inquiry and primary source analysis doesn't have to be disingenuous or inconsistent with the rest of your lesson plans. Instead, focusing on content while practicing the skills of inquiry, primary source analysis, and critical thinking, can be a natural way to integrate inquiry into your classroom, no matter the grade level.

Strategies of Inquiry

Spiral questioning: Use an easy-to-hard questioning format to build confidence, encourage the path of inquiry, and learn foundational information that can be strengthened and expanded upon with more complex questions.

Student collaboration: Encourage discussion and inquiry by pairing students together or in groups, presenting them with opportunities to experience different viewpoints and perspectives and expand their innate knowledge with this change in perspectives.

Open-ended questions: Use short answer (or short essay) questions to ensure deeper student processing and critical thinking.

Increased student choice: Create greater engagement and deeper inquiry by providing students multiple choices to decide their method or activity of learning.

Teacher Perk! By encouraging inquiry in the classroom, teachers spend LESS TIME grading for accuracy and instead encourage students to think critically and support their opinions with evidence.

Allowing a "wrong" answer in analysis and inquiry activities provides students the opportunity to answer without the fear or anxiety of getting it wrong. This opens the door for greater discussion and more inquiry, analysis, and critical thinking, and students are more likely to get to the "right" answer because they're searching for and dissecting information to support their answer.
Elementary school teachers, Explore Early America with your students while analyzing primary sources, using task cards to encourage inquiry, and facilitating group collaboration. #elementaryteachers #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #primarysourceanalysis
Elementary school teachers, Explore Early America with your students while analyzing primary sources, using task cards to encourage inquiry, and facilitating group collaboration.
Middle school teachers, Excavate Ancient Civilizations with your class as students explore images and analyze text to spark inquiry. #middleschoolteachers #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #primarysourceanalysis
Middle school teachers, Excavate Ancient Civilizations with your class as students explore images and analyze text to spark inquiry.
High school teachers, Dissect WWI Propaganda in your classroom by studying and analyzing propaganda of wartime, using inquiry tools and encouraging deeper analysis. #highschoolteachers #teachinginquiry #criticalthinking #primarysourceanalysis
High school teachers, Dissect WWI Propaganda in your classroom by studying and analyzing propaganda of wartime, using inquiry tools and encouraging deeper analysis.

As adults in today's world, we are continuously busy, immersed in work or technology, and we often forget about the sense of intrigue, the amazement of discovery, the engagement that we once felt as we learned a new skill or fact. Unfortunately, our children lose this desire to inquire earlier and earlier with each passing generation. Though our common classroom challenges, like incorporating common core, preparing for standardized testing, squeezing in assemblies and school-wide events and award ceremonies, take up a lot of our class time, finding time to encourage inquiry at an early age, and throughout elementary school (and middle school... oh, and high school, too!) is so critical for student development and growth. #studentdevelopment #teachinginquiry #inquiryskills #detectiveskills #primaryandsecondaryWelcome your students (of all ages) to introduce their inner Sherlock Holmes and embrace their Elementary-my-dear curiosity, no matter what their age or grade level. While the child-like sense of wonder often dwindles as children grow older and face the 'real world,' teaching them to foster this interest will lead them to seek out these skills later in life, and in future classes, too.

Happy Teaching!

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Michele Luck
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Creating an Interest in History in the Elementary Classroom

Creating an Interest in History in the Elementary Classroom


In today’s technology-centered society, sparking an interest in anything that isn’t the latest app or gadget is difficult. Further, with Social Studies programs being cut around the country and History departments consistently underfunded and understaffed, many of our children are growing up without an interest in History. Cultivating an interest in History at the elementary level can inspire young students to pursue further Social Studies education, delve deeper into the history that influenced their past and present, and encourage them to broaden this pursuit beyond the classroom and into their everyday lives.
In today’s technology-centered society, sparking an interest in anything that isn’t the latest app or gadget is difficult. Further, with Social Studies programs being cut around the country and History departments consistently underfunded and understaffed, many of our children are growing up without an interest in History. Cultivating an interest in History at the elementary level can inspire young students to pursue further Social Studies education, delve deeper into the history that influenced their past and present, and encourage them to broaden this pursuit beyond the classroom and into their everyday lives. #elementaryhistory #elementaryclassroom #historyteacher

Simply implementing a few more History lessons into your elementary curriculum won’t cut it. Instead, using the right strategic lesson that address many necessary skills and standards engages students and creates an interest in History.  By implementing techniques to read informational text, think historically, examine cause and effect, explore change over time, categorize, read for context and main idea, inference, and identify who, what, when, where, and why, students will be engaged in their History lesson and will be inspired to further develop their historical understanding of the world around them.
By implementing techniques to read informational text, think historically, examine cause and effect, explore change over time, categorize, read for context and main idea, inference, and identify who, what, when, where, and why, students will be engaged in their History lesson and will be inspired to further develop their historical understanding of the world around them. #learningstrategies #learningskills #commoncore #teachingskills
Though the art of the early-morning delivery of a meticulously-folded, black and white newsprint may be dead, people still rely on the news media for reporting of current events, upcoming activities, and important information and announcements. Whether utilizing digital news through social media, email, or other avenues, individuals need and want to know what’s happening around them. Use the History Headline News Daily Informational Readings to spark that same interest in your students.
Though the art of the early-morning delivery of a meticulously-folded, black and white newsprint may be dead, people still rely on the news media for reporting of current events, upcoming activities, and important information and announcements. Whether utilizing digital news through social media, email, or other avenues, individuals need and want to know what’s happening around them. Use the History Headline News Daily Informational Readings to spark that same interest in your students. #newspaper #newsmedia #digitalnews #newsforlearning
Why use History Headline News Daily Informational Readings to create an interest in History in your elementary classroom? These daily readings address many skills and standards to mesh with common core.


Reading informational text

Historical thinking

Cause and Effect

Change over time

Categorization

Reading for context

Reading for main idea

Inferencing

Identifying who, what, when, where, and why

Download the FULL YEAR of History Headline News at a special bundled price. Use these quick readings for daily activities, bellringers, or topic reviews. Or, try the FREE Summer Bundle set! Introduce these beneficial skills to your students by using History Headline News to create an interest in History in your elementary classroom this year!


Happy Teaching!

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Michele Luck
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Wrapping up the School Year: End of the Year Review and Test Prep

Wrapping up the School Year: End of the Year Review and Test Prep


Searching for the perfect end-of-the-year wrap-up activity? A comprehensive lesson to review the content, prepare for standardized exams, study for final exams, and bring another successful school year to a close? Look no further! The perfect activity doesn't require loads of planning or preparation, and it certainly doesn't demand more than you may be willing to give during these last few weeks of school. Using a complete analysis, annotation, and timeline activity is the ideal way to bring the school year full circle.
Searching for the perfect end-of-the-year wrap-up activity? A comprehensive lesson to review the content, prepare for standardized exams, study for final exams, and bring another successful school year to a close? Look no further! The perfect activity doesn't require loads of planning or preparation, and it certainly doesn't demand more than you may be willing to give during these last few weeks of school. Using a complete analysis, annotation, and timeline activity is the ideal way to bring the school year full circle. #endoftheyear #review #wrapup #endofyearlesson
Middle school and high school students will appreciate the different aspects of this lesson, including analysis, annotation, timeline study, skills review, chronology study, and more. Not only does this activity offer 70+ topic cards, but it also has options for individual student and whole class implementation, a SPRITE organizer and key, and teaching suggestions and implementation directions. Squeezing this wrap-up activity in at the end of the year is easy and beneficial.

Implementation Strategies


Create an Archaeological Dig

Have students dig deep into the well of knowledge they've filled over the past year. This activity will get students out of their seats and on their feet! Divide students into groups or have them work individually with these task cards and then present information to the class.

Line up through History

Have students create a human timeline with these task cards. By engaging in the lesson hands-on, students are likely to retain more information and can really embrace their event to represent and present to their peers.

Final SPRITE Analysis

In pairs or groups, have students complete the SPRITE organizer one last time. SPRITE analysis is a skill that will benefit your students for many years (and many more classes!) to come. Ingraining these skills throughout the year will prepare them for future coursework by reminding them how to analyze and compare Social, Political, Religious, Intellectual, Technological, and Economic attributes.
First year teacher dreading the end-of-the-year wrap-up? Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content you need to cover for standardized testing? Using this easy review activity, you can easily prep for standardized testing and final exams! #newteacher #firstyearteacher #endoftheyear #endofyearwrapup

Missed the window for end-of-the-year planning? No worries! This activity is great as an introductory lesson for a unit, at the beginning of the year, or even as a daily bellringer throughout the year! 

The Early World History End of the Year Review Timeline Activity will adequately prepare your World History class for even the hardest of standardized tests or final exams! Or, browse the Modern World History End of the Year Review Analysis, Annotation & Timeline Activity to use with your Modern World History students. Teaching US History? Download the US History End of the Year Review Analysis, Annotation & Timeline Activity instead!

Bonus! Pair with the Social Studies Academic Vocabulary Graphic Organizer for Social Studies fluency!

Looking for a surefire activity to kick-off a new unit? Want to engage your students in a review activity to help retain knowledge? Archaeological digs and task cards can help to bridge the gap between content and retention! #knowledgecheck #teachershelpingstudents #classroomreview #ushistory #worldhistory
The compilation of the previous year's content can seem daunting for even your most advanced students. However, using engaging techniques like human timelines, task cards, archaeological digs, and graphic organizers, you can breeze through a whole year's review with little stress! Embrace the chaos at the end of the school year with some activities to get students moving and learning.

Happy teaching!

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Michele Luck
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5 Reasons You Should Use Scavenger Hunts to Teach Your Next Social Studies Lesson

5 Reasons You Should Use Scavenger Hunts to Teach Your Next Social Studies Lesson


In the world of education today, there are many different teaching styles, learning styles, and the "next big thing" is always being recommended to fulfill the ever-changing needs of our students. Keeping up with the trends in teaching can be overwhelming and time-consuming. What if you were able to find a resource that caters to all learning styles, incorporates experiential lessons, provides hands-on engagement, and offers your students an engaging opportunity to build a lasting knowledge base?
In the world of education today, there are many different teaching styles, learning styles, and the "next big thing" is always being recommended to fulfill the ever-changing needs of our students. Keeping up with the trends in teaching can be overwhelming and time-consuming. What if you were able to find a resource that caters to all learning styles, incorporates experiential lessons, provides hands-on engagement, and offers your students an engaging opportunity to build a lasting knowledge base? Read further for 5 reasons you should use Scavenger Hunts to teach Social Students lessons! #socialstudieslessons #scavengerhunts #socialstudiesfun #learnsocialstudies

Scavenger Hunts may make you reminiscent of Easter egg hunts circa early childhood, or remind you of the wave of geocaching events that populated the latter half of the 2000s. On the surface, you may even recognize Scavenger Hunts as a fun and engaging way to kick off the new school year or pass time before a break, but Scavenger Hunts can offer so much more to your middle school and high school students and can take your basic Social Studies lesson plans from "blah" to "Ta-da!" Scavenger Hunts can be modified and implemented in any lesson. Read further for 5 reasons you should use Scavenger Hunts to teach Social Students lessons!

1. Scavenger Hunts are substantial. 

Do you often scour the web for ready-made lesson plans, only to find half-baked ideas that may take up about 20 minutes of your class time, leaving you to scramble to fill the remainder of the block? Do your activities teach but not test, discuss but not develop deep understanding, encourage but not engage? Scavenger Hunts are easily modifiable and can be cut down or fleshed out to fit your needs, and they're comprehensive in that they offer introductory concepts to begin a lesson and also review and check for understanding as you wrap-up.

2. Scavenger Hunts are easy to implement. 

Gone are the days where you spend the whole weekend prepping for Monday's lesson. Scavenger Hunts are a simple cut and display process, and you can really modify the lesson to fit your classroom needs. Display the scavenger hunt cards around the room, read the instructions, and let your students get to work! View the Scavenger Hunt How-To for more tips and tricks.

3. Scavenger Hunts cater to all learning styles. 

Scavenger Hunts are great in large classrooms because you can really cater to different learning styles and provide a unique learning experience for each of your students. Visual learners can view pictures and historical documents. Those that learn by reading can delve into summaries and text-based slides. And your students who need to get up from their seats and engage in the lesson will stay on task, excited about learning, and focused.

4. Scavenger Hunts encourage teamwork. 

Students can pair up or join groups to cover all of the content. Assign one team to a certain center and then allow for a larger-group exchange of information at the end. Allow students to become Subject Matter Experts on one area and then trade with their peers. Performing the Scavenger Hunt in groups will encourage your students to consider different perspectives, forge bonds with classmates and work together peacefully, and work collaboratively toward a common goal. This leads to a successful and happy classroom environment!

5. There's a Scavenger Hunt for EVERYTHING! 

Looking to introduce the geography of a certain country, region, or continent? Browse the geographical scavenger hunts! Searching for an engaging lesson to wrap up a holiday study or lead into a break? Choose a Holiday/Event themed scavenger hunt! Or, use Scavenger Hunts to welcome students on the first day of school or dive into a new unit! Browse the Scavenger Hunt category on Michele Luck's Social Students for even more Scavenger Hunts!
Overwhelmed by all this talk of differential learning? Too many learning styles and modifications to keep them all straight? Use ready-to-implement scavenger hunts to teach your next Social Studies lesson and address al learning styles at once! #learningstyles #scavengeforknowledge #socialstudiesscavengers

Geography Scavenger Hunts:


Holiday/Event Scavenger Hunts:


Other Great Scavenger Hunts:


For a seamless unit plan, use the continent bundles for
multiple Scavenger Hunts at a discounted price!

Did you procrastinate this upcoming week's lesson plans? Stuck on the same boring activities, and frustrated with students snoozing during your Social Studies lecture? Get students on their feet with these Social Studies lesson plans! Students are sure to develop an interest in the content at hand and engage in this experiential lesson! #experientiallearning #scavengerhunts #scavengerhuntsarefun
Your students learn leaps and bounds faster when they are able to engage one-on-one with the content you're teaching. Push the desks to the side, encourage your students to get on their feet, and let them explore hands-on. They're more likely to learn quicker and retain more if they're engaged in an exciting, experiential lesson! Try a Scavenger Hunt for your next big lesson.


Happy Teaching!


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Michele Luck
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Traces of Ancient Egypt: Thoughts from an Egyptologist Turned Kids' Writer

Traces of Ancient Egypt: Thoughts from an Egyptologist Turned Kids' Writer



Instead of posting this week on a new strategy or resource for teaching in the Social Studies classroom, I have invited Malayna Evans to write a guest post about teaching Ancient Egypt to middle school students. 
Malayna Evans is releasing her book, Jagger Jones and the Mummy's Ankh, in May and she is guest blogging on A Lesson Plan for Teachers on #teaching about Ancient Egypt in the #middleschool classroom. I know students will love her #3.

Malayna Evans was raised in the mountains of Utah and spent her childhood climbing, skiing, reading Sci-Fi, and finding trouble. Many years later, she earned her Ph.D. in ancient Egyptian history from the University of Chicago. She's used her education to craft a time-travel series set in ancient Egypt. Book one, Jagger Jones and the Mummy's Ankh, is out in May of 2019. She enjoys visiting classrooms to share her passion for ancient Egypt, travel, and coffee. Malayna lives in Oak Park, Il, with her two kids, a rescue dog, and a hamster.

Here are her thoughts!

With the upcoming release of my middle grade debut novel, Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh, I’ve been busy talking to kids about ancient Egypt. I start like this. “Imagine you lived over 3,000 years ago in ancient Egyptian. How would your life be different?”

Kids point out that they wouldn’t have an iPhone or Nikes or slime. Girls wonder if they’d have gone to school. (No, nor would most boys.) Some wonder if they’d have worshiped different gods, or ended up as mummies, or if they’d fit in or stand out.

Kids are full of smart guesses and clever questions. What surprises many are the modern objects and practices we inherited from ancient Egypt. I’ve found that talking about how this fantastical culture is still with us is a great way to engage kids.

You want to try it? Great. Here are just three things to highlight.

1. They gave us our system of writing

The ancient Egyptian were the first to marry written signs to phonetic values, starting around 3,000 BC. With thousands of signs, the language cycled through five stages and had a longer life span than any other language. It was lost until 1799, when scholars used the Rosetta Stone to crack the code--it had the same decree written in three texts: hieroglyphs, demotic, and Greek.

It’s not only the alphabet we can trace back to ancient Egypt, but also writing instruments. Egyptians took the leap from carving words into stone and clay tablets to writing on papyrus with reed pens early in Egyptian history. This spread to the Mediterranean and West Asia during the first millennium BC, when papyrus became a valued export. Eventually, Europe started using parchment and China invented paper around 100 BC, using a technique that we still use today.
2. They established the systems we use to mark time

Kids are more surprised to learn that the Egyptians invented our calendar.

Okay, it was a little different. It was split into three seasons and twelve months, each made up of three ten-day-long weeks. If you do the math, you’ll see that only equates to 360 days, which meant the calendar slowly shifted out of synch with the irrigation cycle. So they tacked five extra days onto it--birthdays of the gods. In 30 BC, the Romans tweaked this calendar, adding an extra day every fourth year, to give us the calendar we use today.

Ancient Egyptians were also the first to measure time using both water clocks and sun/shadow clocks.

3. They were very fashion forward

Kids get a kick out of learning that Egyptians were serious fashionistas. They invented loads of items designed to beautify that are still with us today.

Wigs, for example, were commonly worn by men and women, as was make-up. They made lipstick and blush from clay, eyeliner and eye shadow from fat, and their nail polish and hair color was a form of henna. They used toothpaste, toothbrushes, and breath mints. And yes, their toothpaste really did include mint. Their breath wasn’t the only thing that smelled good: they made perfume from aromatic woods, incense and animal fats, sometimes using it in wax form so it would melt throughout the day, leaving the wearer smelling fresh and yummy. Oh, and their clothes and jewelry were to die for. They even had high heels!


I hope these starter ideas are helpful. One of the most rewarding things about using my Ph.D. in ancient Egyptian history to write a middle grade book was invisibly weaving aspects of the history kids probably don’t already know about into the adventure. Well, that and the mummies!



Find out more about Malayna through the links below.

Malayna Evans is releasing her book, Jagger Jones and the Mummy's Ankh, in May and she is guest blogging on A Lesson Plan for Teachers on #teaching about Ancient Egypt in the #middleschool classroom. I know students will love her #3. And if you'd like classroom-ready resources to supplement those from Malayna, take a look at my Complete Ancient Egypt Unit with interactive resources to keep students engaged and excited about learning history.

Happy Teaching!
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Michele Luck
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