Clues to the Past

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Books to Share

Cuckoo/Cucu: A Mexican Folktale/Un cuento folk­lorico mexicano by Lois Ehlert
The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt by Claudia Logan
The Hero and the Minotaur by Robert Byrd
Ten Little Mummies: An Egyptian Counting Book by Philip Yates
Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen by Michael Spradlin

Books to Show or Booktalk

Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad by F. W. Monjo
Jigsaw Jones #6: Case of the Mummy Mystery by James Preller
Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphs by James Rumford

Bulletin Board

Mysteries of the Egyptians

Cover the bulletin board with brown paper. Add pictures of the Sphinx, a pyramid, a few mummies, and camels. Add some pieces of sandpaper for a sandy feeling, and add a caption and book jackets.


Use the pattern provided here to make Texas Ranger Badge nametags.


Mummy's Curse

One of the big mysteries of history is the curse of King Tut's tomb. Create a display with a pyramid, Mardi Gras beads and jewels, inexpensive gold bangles, gauze, and other artifacts. Rest the display in sand and add plastic camels and lizards.


Serve dried figs or Fig Newton cookies, dates, sesame seed crackers, and grape juice. These are foods that are eaten as treats in Egypt.


Mummy Suckers

Purchase mummy lollipops from Oriental Trading Company to give to the children.


Alice the Camel (Traditional)

Alice the camel has five humps.   (bends knees and dips down)
Alice the camel has five humps.   (bends knees and dips down)
Alice the camel has five humps.   (bends knees and dips down)
So ride, Alice, ride.
Boom, boom, boom, boom!   (swing hips from side to side)

(Repeat counting down with four, three, two, and one hump.)

Alice the camel has no humps.   (bends knees and dips down)
Alice the camel has no humps.   (bends knees and dips down)
Alice the camel has no humps.   (bends knees and dips down)
'Cause Alice is a horse, of course.

Action Rhymes

Ten Little Mummies (by Jeanette Larson. Sing to tune "Ten Little Indians.")

One little, two little, three little mummies   (raise fingers as you count)
Four little, five little, six little mummies
Seven little, eight little, nine little mummies
Ten little mummies
Drying in the sun!   (hold hands up high to signify the sun)

Texas Ranger Bedtime (Traditional.  Adapted by Jeanette Larson)

This Texas Ranger is going to bed.   (point to self)
Down on his hat he lays his head.   (rest your head on hands)
He wraps himself in bedroll tight,   (wrap arms around your body)
And this is the way he sleeps all night.   (hold hands together next to your head)
Morning comes,   (hold hands in a circle like the sun)
He opens his eyes.   (raise head, eyes wide open)
Off with a toss the bedroll flies.   (fling arms wide)
Soon he is up and dressed and away,   (jump up)
Ready to protect on the range all day.   (clap hands and move feet like you are galloping away)

Audio Recordings

"Woodie's Roundup" on Woody's Roundup by Toy Story
"Dead Egyptian Blues" on Over the Limit by Trout Fishing in America
"Walk Like an Egyptian" on How Sweet It Is by Sugar Beats

Stories to Tell

Tell the story “Going on a Trail Ride” from The Complete Book of Activities, Games, Stories, Props, Recipes, and Dances for Young Children by Pam Schiller and Jackie Silberg. The story, in the vein of "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt" includes actions for the children to participate.  Use a puppet such as the cowboy puppet available from The Puppet Store when telling the story and to welcome the children to the program.

Riddles and Jokes

Share some of the riddles in Mummy Riddles byKaty Hall and Lisa Eisenberg.


Secrets of the Pyramids
  • Pyramid template traced onto tag board or heavy construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • Fine grain sand

In advance trace the pyramid template provided here onto heavy paper. Allow the children to cut out the pattern along the lines.  For younger children have some precut. Crease the lines sharply and fold the triangle sections in leaving them loose for now. Decorate the outside of the pyramid with hieroglyphics. Use the glue stick to apply glue on the pyramid sides and sprinkle sand on the glue. Tape the sides of the pyramid together.

A pattern to cut out and assemble as a pyramid. Consists of flattened triangles.

Egyptian Headbands
  • Patterns
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Markers and crayons
  • Yarn
  • Hole punch
  • Gold and silver glitter glue

In advance, copy the pattern provided here onto a light card stock. Distribute to the children and allow them to color in the pattern. If desired, add gold and silver glitter glue to embellish the headband. Cut out the pattern along the lines. Punch a hole at each end of the pattern. Measure yarn to fit each child’s head.Thread the yarn through the holes and tie.

Three strips of patterns to cut out and put string through them.

Games and Activities

Mystery Picture

Give the children sheets of white watercolor paper and a white crayon. Let the children draw a picture on the paper with the white crayon. Gather up the pictures and redistribute them so that each child has a picture he or she did not draw. Let the children paint using a wash made of three parts water and one part tempera paint to reveal the mystery picture.  See video.

Western Trail Ride Maze

Print out and copy the Western Trail Ride Maze created by Roxie Munro. Give one to each child with a pencil for them to solve the maze.

Guest Speakers

Invite a professional archeologist, or an amateur archeologist who has been on a dig, to share artifacts and information about how scientists solve mysteries of the past.

Request a speaker from the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum. There is a travel charge and requests should be submitted to the education coordinator as early as possible.


Elmo's World: Wild Wild West (50 minutes)
"Texas Trail to Calamity" on Miss Mallard Meets the Masters of Mischief (138 minutes)


Activity Village - provides a printable coloring sheet with the Egyptian alphabet.

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum - everything about the famous Texas lawmen (and women) is online from this Waco museum, including virtual exhibits that explore the history of the law enforcement agency and photographs of historic badges.

Tour Egypt - tourism site includes an extensive kid's section with downloadable patterns for finger puppets, coloring pages, and a hieroglyphic converter.

Page last modified: February 15, 2012