Travel the Nile
Lesson plan based on Model Boat
Calculate travel times along the Nile River under different conditions using an ancient Egyptian boat and alternative forms of modernday transportation.
Skills and Focus: Calculation, Problem Solving
Subject Area: Science
Thematic Connection: Geography
Grade Level: Secondary School
Time Needed: 90 minutes
Solve an algebraic problem.
Calculate the amount of time it would take to sail the length of the Nile under different conditions.
Explore the impact of technology on travel along the Nile River.
Instructional Materials Needed
Story: Boats in Ancient Egypt
Step 1: After watching Boats in Ancient Egypt with the students (making sure they pay close attention to the distance the Nile River travels through Egypt), have students determine how many days it would take to travel the length of the Nile through Egypt, sailing 12 hours a day and assuming that the boat travels at a speed of 5 mph in still water.
Step 2: Assuming the waters of the Nile flow south to north (S-N) at 4 mph, calculate how long it would take to travel the same distance going 1) S-N and 2) N-S. If the S-N wind can increase the speed of the boat by an additional 6 mph (using a sail), calculate the S-N travel time. What is the difference between the N-S and the S-N travel times?
Step 3: Using the map of Egypt, choose two destination points along the Nile. Calculate the time it would take to travel at a speed of 5 mph, round trip, by boat between those points. Have students predict the time it would take to travel the same distance by modern ship, car, or train. Calculate how long it would take by car or train by using an algebraic equation.
Critical Thinking Ask students to
asses how accurate their predictions were.
explain the advantages and disadvantages of each method of transportation in ancient Egypt and today.
draw conclusions about the way twentieth-century technology has changed the way people travel the Nile.
Step 4: Have students create a game board that lists the cities along the Nile River. Create markers of boats, cars, camels, feet, train, etc. The markers will represent the rate of speed that the player will travel. For example, a marker of a boat will travel at 5 mph, and a car at 55 mph. Make up dice with the rate of speed each marker can travel. Use Egyptian symbols (see the lesson plan: Mathematics, Amenemhet). Write 3-4 sets of cards with the names of each of the cities. Each student picks two cards. The two cities define the distance the student has to travel. Students move the number of miles that is on the dice only if it matches the rate of speed which their marker travels. Taking into consideration both factors (rate of speed and miles to travel), estimate which students will complete their journey first, second, and third. Play out the game to see if their predictions are correct.
This activity meets Illinois State Goal 11: Have a working knowledge of the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments, and solve problems.
This activity meets Illinois State Goal 13: Have a working knowledge of the relationships among science, technology, and society in historical and contemporary contexts.
© 2000, by The Art Institute of Chicago. All rights reserved. Use of this program is subject to the terms below. No part of this program may be reproduced, transmitted or distributed in any form or by any means, except for personal or classroom use. All Copyright in and to the program, in whole or in part, belongs to the publisher and its licensors and is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office