Teaching Ancient Civilizations with Children’s Literature: Tutankhamen’s Gift


Tutankhamen’s Gift, written and illustrated by Robert Sabuda, is the story of a young boy named Tutankamen.  Tutankamen, a small, frail boy who did not excel at physical activities, was a member of the royal family of the great Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III.  The story tells of Tutankamen going to school, playing and watching his father’s craftsmen build temples to glorify the many gods that he and the Egyptians worshiped.  When Amenhotep III died, the pharaoh’s eldest son, Amenhotep IV, assumed his father’s power.  Unfortunately he was not like his father and was not liked by the people.  When Tutankamen’s brother, Amenhotep IV, mysteriously died, the small, meek 10 year old, Tutankamen, became pharaoh.  Tutankamen “ruled over the people..with kindness and a true heart until the end of his days”.

Curriculum Connections:

This book would be an interesting introduction to Ancient Egypt.  It discusses the pharaohs, the temples, and the many gods they worshiped.  It mentions the Nile River, the children’s education and some of the people’s customs.  It combines simple text with artwork true to the historical period in which Tutankamen lived.  (Va SOL SOL 2.1 and 2.4a).

Additional Resources:

Ancient Egypt: About the Nile a video clip about the Nile River and the ancient Egyptians.

Pharaoh: Lord of the Two Lands is a site that includes a story, artwork to explore, and a challenge.

Build your own scale model of the Great Pyramid.

General Information:
Book: Tuthankhamen’s Gift
Author: Robert Sabuda
Illustrator: Robert Sabuda
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company
Publication Date: 1988
Pages: 32
Grade Range: 2-4
ISBN: 9780689318184

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