Grade 5 Social Studies: WebQuest – 3 Days in Ancient Egypt

By Alma Kentel, Laruen Bourdages & Tammy Gaudun

You woke up this morning in a sweat, light blinding your eyes and sand in your mouth.  As you wipe the sleep of your eyes  you are totally bewildered by your surroundings.  It appears you are in some desert land, but you recognize the objects on the horizon background – pyramids!  Just then a young boy rides past you on a camel and stops right beside you.    

“My name is Baruti and I’ve been expecting you,” he says.     

He retells the story how a mad scientist from the future, Dr. Lauren Alma Gaudun, has selected you to report on life in ancient Egypt.  The boy hands you a journal and a pen and says, your instructions are written inside.    

Dear Student Anthropologist,
If you complete the following instructions,
you may return home and your life will
return to normal. If you fail, you will
be stuck in ancient Egypt until the journal
is complete! You will be in Egypt for three days. 

Write an entry in this journal for each day.
Note, you may wear a disguise and travel as a priest,
a farmer, a peasant, etc.
Day 1:   Explore the area today. Tell me about
the people you met, the food you ate,
and about any games you played.

Day 2:   Baruti, your guide, will take you to 
meet the Pharaoh. What did he tell you? 
Next, you will visit a temple of worship. 
Was anyone being mummified? Were any gods 
were being worshipped?   
Day 3:   You will be on your own today.
You are free to explore the area.
Tell me about anything you saw that was interesting. 
Also tell me what you thought about life in
ancient Egypt.  Are you excited to come home? Why?
What did you miss the most?


For the next three classes in the computer lab, you are to research topics that will help you write your journal.  Your journal should be written in the first person. For an idea of what this could look like, visit:    



By the end of your three day journey, you should have a good idea about several of the following aspects of Egyptian life:    

  • Government
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Daily Life
  • Games
  • Environment


Teacher’s Section


The Ontario 5th Grade Social Studies curriculum requires that students are able to compares aspects of two different ancient civilizations by the end of the year. The purpose of this Web Quest is to introduce students to all the aspects of one ancient civilization to use in these comparisons, in this case Ancient Egypt, while giving them a chance to exercise their creative writing skills.The students will use the resources to learn what daily life would have been like in Ancient Egypt. From there students will assume the identity of an Ancient Egyptian. After that students will be responsible for using their internet research to help them write three “day in the life of” journal entries, as themselves, or in disguise as priest, a farmer, a peasant, etc…      


 This Web Quest is designed for grade 5 students. The Web Quest itself is rooted in the Ontario Grade 5 Social Studies Curriculum on Early Civilizations and has cross-curricular ties to the Ontario Grade 5 Language Curriculum.The Web Quest can be used by any students interested in learning about the things that affected the day to day life of the Ancient Egyptians.To do this Web Quest students will need to be able to:      

  • access the internet to do research.
  • pull important information from an informational text.
  • write a journal entry.
  • imagine themselves in the role of another person


Ontario Social Studies Curriculum Grade 5    

Overall Expectations:

  • identify and compare the ways in which people in various early civilizations met their physical and social needs, including how they interacted with and used the natural environment;

Specific Expectations: Knowledge & Understanding   

explain how two or more early civilizations shaped and used the environment to meet their physical needs for food, homes, clothing, and health (e.g., use of irrigation in agriculture in Egypt, planting of olive groves and orchards in Greece, use of bamboo for homes in China, pottery making in Mesopotamia, growing of maize by Mayans, use of cedar trees by Haida people);   

Ontario Language Curriculum Grade 5

Specific Expectations: Writing   

Developing & Organizing Content   

  • outline how social needs were met in two or more early civilizations (e.g., family roles, recreation, sports, arts, entertainment, sanitation, education, written language);
  • identify important values and beliefs in two or more early civilizations and describe how they affected daily life (e.g., world views, including religious beliefs and practices; government; social structure; family structure and roles);
  • compare how two or more early civilizations were governed (e.g., pharaohs in Egypt; early democracy in Greece; emperors in China; republican government in Rome; nobles, priests, and military in Aztec society; chiefdoms in the Indus Valley; city states on the Swahili Coast; clan mothers and chiefs in the Iroquois Confederacy);
  • describe the physical features and climate of two or more regions where early civilizations developed (e.g., the flood plains of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the Nile River Valley, the inland delta of the upper Niger River, the mountainous islands of Greece, the fertile plains of China, the rain forest of the Amazon, the deserts of the United States);

Inquiry/Research & Communication Skills   

  • use primary and secondary sources to locate information about early civilizations (e.g., primary sources: artefacts, field trips; secondary sources: atlases, encyclopaedias and other print materials, illustrations, videos, CD-ROMs, Internet sites);
  • use media works, oral presentations, written notes and descriptions, drawings, tables, charts, maps, and graphs to communicate information about early communities;

Specific Expectations: Writing   

Developing & Organizing Content   

  • Research 1.3 gather information to support ideas for writing in a variety of ways and/or from a variety of sources (e.g., from listening to stories told by family members; from paired sharing with a peer; from observations; from various texts, including teacher read-alouds, mentor texts, and shared-, guided-, and independent reading texts)

Using Knowledge of Form & Style in Writing   

  • Form 2.1 write short texts using a few simple forms (e.g., a recount of personally significant experiences; a simple report on topics of interest to the writer and identified in non-fiction reading; “How to” books identifying the steps in a procedure such as “How to Make Applesauce”, including pictures, symbols, and words; a story modeled on characters and events from stories read; their own variation on a familiar poem, chant, or song; a poster for the classroom)
  • Voice 2.2 begin to establish a personal voice in their writing by using pictures and words that convey their attitude or feeling towards the subject or audience (e.g., use pictures and words that project interest or enthusiasm)

Teacher Notes

At the close of this Web Quest students should come away with as complete an understanding of Ancient Egyptian life as is possible in the limited scope of a Grade 5 Social Studies classroom. They will also walk away with knowledge of a variety of different aspects that go into making a civilization to compare with other civilizations that they learn about in the unit. The first-person narrative will help your students develop empathy for this culture.


One thought on “Grade 5 Social Studies: WebQuest – 3 Days in Ancient Egypt

  1. I personally seem to go along with all the things that is authored inside “Grade 5 Social
    Studies: WebQuest – 3 Days in Ancient Egypt | Ontario Teachers’ Blog”. I am grateful for all the actual facts.Many thanks,Genevieve

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