Teaching Ancient Civilizations with Children’s Literature: Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht

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Introduction and Summary
Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht written by Richard Platt and illustrated by David Parkins,  follows the life of nine-year-old Nakht, who has just moved with his family to Memphis where his father has a prestigious new job as a scribe. As Nakht takes up his own scribe lessons, he maintains a diary of the daily events of an Egyptian child as well as the historical events of the time.  Nakht and his sister, Tamyt, decide to investigate the robbing of nearby tombs and eventually catch the criminal mastermind, the Controller of Granaries, at a banquet inside their own house! Nakht and Tamyt are invited to meet King Hatshepsut, who is really a woman! The end of the book has notes of historical details of the time period including maps, a timeline, and information about the Ancient Egyptian society.

Curriculum Connections
This is a great book to introduce Ancient Egypt to elementary students. Although the book itself is long, it would ideal to read aloud a few pages at a time to a class. Key vocabulary could include ancient, scribe, pyramid, Pharaoh, barter, Nile River, and heiroglyphics. The book explores the Ancient Egyptian architecture, inventions, calendar, and writings (SOL 2.1). It can also be used in conjuction with a geography lesson to point out Ancient Egypt on a map as well as the Nile River(SOL 2.4a). An economic lesson can also be incorporated on bartering as there are several examples of bartering throughout the book (SOL 2.8)

Additional Resources

Book: Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht
Author:
Richard Platt
Illustrator: David Parkins
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date:
2005
Pages:  64 pages
Grade Range: 2nd-5th grade
ISBN: 0763627569