Pyramid Building 2

6-7 yrs old

8-10 yrs old



Lesson 2 of a sequence originally developed for Minecraft Edu and used with Yr3 (8yr olds) as a part of a study of Ancient Egypt.

avatar Submitted By: Steve Bambury

November 30, 2016


  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity

External References

What was inside a tomb?

10 things found inside a pharoah's tomb

Learning Objectives

  • To use teamwork to build a tomb
  • To create a well hidden tomb beneath the pyramid
  • To choose appropriate blocks to hide, decorate and light the tomb
  • To understand more about the tombs found inside pyramids and what they were for

Guiding Ideas

What would have been inside the tomb?

Why would it need to have been hidden?

How will you hide your tomb?

What blocks could be used to represent the contents of the tomb?

How can you use light to create atmosphere in the tomb?

Student Activities

Review the previous session - what went well for their team?

Did they collaborate effectively?Introduce the next challenge - building a tomb under the pyramid that is worthy of an Egyptian pharaoh.

Q: what would have been inside the tomb of a pharaoh?

Brainstorm ideas using your favourite method (think-pair-share, Padlet, Post-Its etc) then collate their ideas. Show them the top ten list via the Guardian (link below) and see how many they guessed.

Explain that they will need to hide their tombs well beneath their pyramids and model how to dig a tunnel down then form different corridors to create a maze effect and multiple paths. Explain that we will return to the dead end paths next time to booby trap them but this session they should focus on building atmosphere. What does this mean?Discuss how the lighting can affect the atmosphere - too bright and it is too warm and sunny, too dark and navigating the tomb becomes impossible. Model how to use limited light sources in corners to create shadows and thus atmosphere.Give them time to begin to develop their tomb.Use the Egyptian themed tokens mentioned in lesson 1 to reward teamwork/precision/pace etc )

After 10-15 mins, regroup the class. Now their tomb is taking shape they need to start developing a main chamber for the Pharaoh to be buried in. Can they remember what would be in there? Are any of these items available in Minecraft? If not, what blocks could be used to represent/build them?

Provide teams with time to complete their build and decorate the burial chamber.

Enrichment - The particularly strong group of Minecrafters within your class that were set the challenge of constructing a Sphinx instead may well still be working on the outside during this lesson as the nature of their build is more complex. If the group is big enough they could split and take shifts above ground and under ground. Alternatively, just allow them the additional time above ground as they will be able to complete their tombs in the final session.

Performance Expectations

- groups build a tomb that is effectively hidden

- groups build a tomb that uses light and other block types to create atmosphere

-groups use block types that match the purpose e.g. gold for a sarcophagus

- teams communicate, collaborate and manage time effectively


  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity

External References

What was inside a tomb?

10 things found inside a pharoah's tomb