1. Title 1

The Standing on the Shoulders of Giants "Teach & Learn" Black History Curriculum​​

Specially designed for Parents, Teachers, Homeschool, or Independent Study, grades 5+

Where Black
History Lives!​

Unit 1: Ancient Africa - The Cradle of Civilation
(200,000 BC - 476 BC)

Unit 1: Class 8: Ancient Kemet (Egypt): The Old Kingdom & First Intermediate Period (3150 B.C. – 2055 B.C.)


Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson, students 
will be able to:

  • Discuss the early formation of ancient Kemet/Egypt, including the knowledge and technology that existed prior to its establishment.

  • Analyze the geography and climatic events that led to the mass migration of people to the Nile Valley – ancient Egypt in particular.

  • Identify the major pharaohs who united Upper and Lower Egypt, establishing the First Dynasty of ancient Kemet/Egypt.

  • Identify the major pyramids and monuments built during the Old Kingdom and the pharaohs and engineers responsible for their construction.

Study Questions!

From Slideshow: Ancient Egypt: The Old Kingdom 

1. Describe one slide or piece of information from the slideshow that you found particularly interesting?

From Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization Excerpts, CH 3 

2. Why were the temples of ancient Kemet built? What purpose did they serve?

3. What ancient Egyptian monument has the distinction of being the home of the world’s first skyscraper? Who built it?

4. True or False? The Great Pyramid is the largest, oldest and only remaining of the Seven Wonders of the World.

5. True or False? Originally, the entire outer surface of the Great Pyramids was covered with polished white limestone, giving the appearance of one smooth and continuous surface reflecting the light of the sun and moon.

From Great Pyramid tombs unearth 'proof' workers were not slaves 

6. What evidence was uncovered that revealed that slaves did not build the Great Pyramids?

7. Who perpetrated the propaganda that the pyramids were built by slaves?

8. How do we know that Jews were not enslaved by Egyptian pharaohs to build the pyramids like former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin stated in 1977?

From Optional Reading: Harvard Magazine, Who Built the Pyramids?

9. What was it that archeologist Jonathan Shaw discovered at Giza that fully confirmed that the great pyramids were not built by slaves?

From First Intermediate Period

10. What is one of the two often quoted causes of the downfall of the Old Kingdom?

11. Who were the Heracleopolitan Kings? Where were they from?

12. Who was Kheti I? How is his rule often described?

13. Who were the Theban Kings? Where were they from?

14. What was the result of the battle between the foreign Heracleopolitan Kings from Libya and the Native African Kings from Thebes?

From First Intermediate Period: A Dark Age (10 min)

15. Why do modern historians no longer believe that the First Intermediate Period was a “Dark Age” for ancient Kemet?
Learning Tools
User's Guide
Class Evaluation

Unit 1: Class 8: Ancient Kemet (Egypt): The Old Kingdom & First Intermediate Period (3150 B.C. – 2055 B.C.)

Class Quiz! with answers

Suggested Vocabulary
Randomly ask students the definition of one of the following words. Then ask them to put the word in a sentence. This is a great exercise for the beginning or end of a class, or if you finish a class early.

upheaval - a violent or sudden change or disruption to something.

nomarchs - were Ancient Egyptian administration officials responsible for the provinces. ... Nome is derived from the Greek nomos,meaning a province or district, and nomarch is derived from the Greek title nomarches, the ruler of a nomos.

provincial - of or concerning a province of a country or empire.

tomb - a large vault, typically an underground one, for burying the dead.

inundation - flooding.

oligarchy - a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.

descendant - a person, plant, or animal that is descended from a particular ancestor.

scarab - an ancient Egyptian gem cut in the form of a scarab beetle, sometimes depicted with the wings spread, and engraved with hieroglyphs on the flat underside.

obscure - not discovered or known about; uncertain.

contemporaneous - existing or occurring in the same period of time.

genre - a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

revel - enjoy oneself in a lively and noisy way, especially with drinking and dancing.

stelae -  an upright stone slab or column typically bearing a commemorative inscription or relief design, often serving as a gravestone.                
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