Historical maps are great tool for understanding the past. You can see when you look at a map of ancient Egypt why people lived only along the river. What would the land have been like away from the Nile?
Coloring The Map
When you color a historical map of ancient Egypt you can see the boundaries of the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms and why the older kingdoms ended at the second cataract of the Nile. You can draw on trade routes and maybe even guess at why those traders took the routes they chose. You could also add invasion routes, cities, tombs, neighboring civilizations, and areas of conquest, depending on what your studies are focusing on.
Here’s an Ancient Egypt Map for you to customize with the information you learn about in your reading.
The map below shows the boundaries of the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms of Egypt, trade routes, oases, cataracts on the Nile, plus the cities and tombs. Start by coloring the 3 kingdoms. Then color and label the oases. Finally, color the desert and the water.
The Importance of Engaging With Maps
Have A Discussion & Read A Book
If kids just color a map they aren’t learning much beyond coloring skills, but there’s lots to learn if we engage in a discussion. While my kids color maps I like to read from books about the topic and talk about what we’re reading and coloring. For example, read a short passage about the Nile River. You are sure to read that the Nile runs from south to north and into the Mediterranean Sea. Given that information, you ask your kids: “Why do you think Upper Epypt is down here, while Lower Egypt is above it? Well, the Egyptians lived their whole lives based around the Nile, so Upper Egpyt was UPstream. It makes sense.
Make Visual Connections
You can also make important visual connections while making maps. This is especially important when it comes to landmarks. If the kids are coloring the pyramids, show them a picture of the Great Pyramids from a book or the internet. You could even watch a litle video clip together.
Challenge Them To Discover
Finally, give your kids something to discover on their own if they’re big enough (and to discover with you if they’re not independent learners yet). On this map, you might say, “Do you know what a cataract is? Then you go look it up from your book or the internet and discover that a cataract is a big, whitewater waterfall. You are curious to see how big, so you look up the Egyptian cataracts.
Wow! That is big. A map can be a real learning tool if you approach it with curiousity and enthusiam. Be willing to think, talk, and go find out what you don’t know together.
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