Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Egypt Game

Is it just a game, or magic?

When April moves to live with her grandma she thinks it will be a horrible change from the Hollywood lifestyle she was used to with her mother. When April meets Melanie they discover that what the two of them have in common is a fantastic imagination. They begin a game in the back yard of an antique store. Their enthrallment with Egypt leads to costumes, goddesses, altars, and even oracles. Soon their Egyptian crew grows to six and the fun and magic continues to grow. But with there having been a murder in the neighborhood and the owner of the antique shop, the professor, being accused of this murder, and when the game starts to take on a mind of its own it is questionable if the game can continue. Can the crew clear the professors name? Will their game be over forever? Find out in Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Newbery Honor book The Egypt Game.

Teachers... Here are some resources and ideas to help you teach this novel.

Web Resources:

Vocabulary: Lots of the vocab for this novel are connected to ancient Egypt, so if the students enjoy this book, they may want to learn more about ancient Egyptian culture. Here are some vocab words: vague, pert, lotus, archaeologist, tenants, caper, pharaohs, monoliths, mummies, hieroglyphics, leer, papyrus, altar, omen, fink, oath, rendezvous, oracle, temple, consternation, grotto, incense, cinch, incredulous, alibi

Before Reading:
  • Create a KWL chart about what students know, want to know (and after reading), have learned about ancient Egypt.
    • You may want to explain to your students that this is a fictional story despite there being many true facts about Egyptians within the novel.
During Reading:
  • Write journal entries pretending to be April. Discuss how she feels living in a new home and talk about how she feels about her mom, expanding on what Snyder tells the reader.
  • Make a map of the Egypt game's play area using what you know from reading. Be sure to include placement of A-Z, each altar, statues, etc.
After Reading/Research:
  • Finish the KWL chart about ancient Egypt.
  • Create your own hieroglyphics alphabet.
  • For students who really enjoyed learning about ancient Egypt through this novel, a great expansion activity would be for students to do research on ancient Egypt and find different aspects the Egyptian crew could have added to their Egyptian game.
Across the Curriculum:
Social Studies/History: Use this novel to teach students about Egypt if Egypt or ancient civilizations are in your curriculum.

    Snyder, Z. K. (1967). The Egypt Game . New York: Atheneum. 

    Happy Reading (&Running) =)

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