The Egyptian hieroglyphic writing system consists of several hundred picture signs. The signs can be divided into two classes, phonograms and ideograms. Phonograms represent sounds, much as alphabet letters do. Ideograms are signs that represent whole words or concepts.
Print out hieroglyphs from one of the sites below. Give each of your students
one hieroglyph to learn about and to draw on an 8" x 12" piece of paper.
When the students are finished, ask each child to explain his or her hieroglyph, what it looks like and what sound or word it represents.
After your students are finished presenting their hieroglyphs, call out one word at a time and let the kids line up with their hieroglyphs to spell out the words. Then have the children take turns calling. This game requires quick thinking and quick feet and the children will love it. Afterwards, hang the hieroglyphs on a bulletin board or wall where everyone can see them for easy reference.
Decode the Teacher's Message
Write short messages or instructions in hieroglyphs to your students each day for them to decode. It will add fun to a simple request like line up!
Send Hieroglyph Cards
Have your students design their own postcards. On the front ask them to draw an ancient Egyptian sight such as a pyramid or tomb. On the back they can write a message in hieroglyphs. Encourage them to write it carefully in English first, and to exchange messages with each other to check them.
Design Your Own Alphabet
Imagine how you might design your own hieroglyph system. Students can design their own as class. Ask each student to design an ideogram that represents his or her name. What words and concepts does your class use frequently? What kind of ideograms could you design to represent these concepts?