In ancient Egypt, animals were considered sacred and often associated with specific gods and goddesses. For example, the falcon was associated with the god Horus, the cat with the goddess Bastet, and the ibis with the god Thoth. Each animal had a specific meaning and significance in the mythology of ancient Egypt.

Using animals to teach about ancient Egypt can help make history come alive for young students. By connecting the mythology to animals that students may be familiar with, such as cats or birds, they can better understand the significance of the stories and symbols. For example, by teaching about the goddess Bastet and her association with cats, students can learn about the importance of feline companionship in ancient Egyptian society and how cats protected homes and temples from pests.

Elementary teachers can provide a unique and engaging perspective on this fascinating culture by teaching about ancient Egypt through animal symbolism. Students can learn about the significance of specific animals in ancient Egyptian mythology, the importance of animal symbolism in their culture, and how animals played a role in their daily lives. This approach can make history come alive for young learners and give them a deeper understanding and appreciation of this ancient civilisation.

Let's get started!

Printable & Activity Objectives

Age: 7 to 9 year olds, Activity Time: 1-2 hours, Items Needed: Writing and colour pencils

In this activity, your child will learn about how significant animals were in ancient Egyptian mythology, how they symbolised important aspects of their culture, and the roles they played in their daily lives.

It will help your child or student:

  1. Familiarise with Ancient Egyptian Mythology: Students will learn about the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt and the important role that animals played in their mythology.
  2. Learn About the Cultural Significance of Animals: Students will learn about the significance of animals in ancient Egyptian culture, including the roles that they played in daily life, art, and religion.
  3. Understand the Use of Symbolism: Students will learn about symbolism in ancient Egyptian mythology and the importance of using symbols to convey meaning.
  4. Make Potential Cross-Curricular Connections: Teachers can use this activity to connect to other subjects, such as science (learning about the animals' natural habitats) and social studies (exploring the geography of Egypt and its impact on the civilisation).
  5. Learn to Appreciate Different Cultures: Through this activity, students can develop an appreciation for different cultures and the importance of respecting and learning about the traditions of others.

How to Get Started

Simple steps to start:

  • Research and find out more about the use of animal symbolism in ancient Eygptian mythology and folklore. Here's a fun animated video about the symbolism used to represent the ancient Egyptian gods:
  • Here's a good article by National Geographic about how ancient Egyptians worship different animal gods:
From cats to cows to crocodiles, ancient Egyptians worshipped many animal gods
As 3,000 years of art and sculpture reveal, the divine menagerie of ancient Egypt reflects the rich and varied creatures of the Nile Valley.

Here's a comprehensive analysis of animals statue and mummies from ancient Egypt by the National Museums of Liverpool:

  • Get started on the printable worksheets!

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What's in the Printable Worksheet Pack

This printable activity pack consists of 5 creative printable worksheets for your students or children to research and find out more about the historical use of animal symbolism in Ancient Egypt. Here's what it consists of:

  • 4 "Prompted" Animals in Ancient Egypt Research and Drawing Sheet.
  • 1 Animals in Ancient Egypt Template Sheet.

Click on the download link below to get started. Please note that this printable pack is only for paid members.

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