The pyramids of ancient Egypt were built as tombs for pharaohs and queens. The Pharaoh Khufu ordered the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The British Museum website offers a diagram of the pyramid complex--it included two temples, three smaller pyramids, boat pits and mastabas--low, flat tombs for nobles and royal relatives. The Great Pyramid bears a cap of limestone at its tip--all that remains of the limestone facing that once covered the pyramid. The PBS Nova website suggests using a scale pattern to make model pyramids. Make your own model pyramids for home or school with basic supplies.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Heavy poster board in tan, gold or light brown
- Masking tape
- Tan or light brown marking pen
- White glue
- Old paintbrush
- Heavy-duty piece of cardboard large to use as a base for the pyramids
Download a scale pyramid pattern from a website such as Nova Online and print with your computer printer.
Make three reduced copies of the pyramid at a copy shop to use for the queens' pyramids. Enlarge the pattern of the pyramid if you want your model to be larger.
Trace the pyramid patterns in pencil on poster board.
Cut out the pyramid models. Cut only the outside lines around the triangles--the lines that make up the square are for folding.
Fold the pyramid models on the solid lines of the centre square. The square forms the pyramid's base.
Tape the pyramid models together one at a time. Tape each triangle pyramid face to the one next to it with their edges touching. Have an assistant hold the triangles in place, if possible. Center a length of tape over the seam and apply it slowly from the pyramid's tip to its base, running straight down the seam. Press gently on the tape to help it hold to the poster board. Repeat with each set of triangles on each pyramid.
Color over the masking tape with a marking pen close to the colour of the poster board pyramid models.
Use a ruler to make straight lines on the flat piece of cardboard to line up the pyramids where you want them. For example, put the Great Pyramid in the centre of the cardboard and line up the three small pyramid models in front of it.
Set the pyramid models in place and trace around them.
Apply glue to the cardboard in the squares for the pyramids. Press the pyramids down on the glue.
Spread glue on the Great Pyramid or other model you chose. Sprinkle sand all over it. Repeat with the rest of the pyramid models.
Combine 1 cup of sand with 1/2 cup of glue and stir it together. Spread the glue sand in a layer on the cardboard. Make more glue sand if needed. This creates the desert setting for the pyramids.
Tips and warnings
- Read books and websites on pyramids to learn about their role in Egyptian culture and how they were built. If the model pyramids are for a school project, read the assignment carefully and ask your teacher any questions you have before you start making your model pyramids.
- Create a scene with Egyptian figures and camels.
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