Searching for Treasure in the Valley of the Kings

Books to Share

The 5,000-year-old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt by Claudia Logan
I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting
Pepi and the Secret Names by Jill Paton Walsh
Tutankhamen’s Gift by Robert Sabuda

Books to Show or Booktalk

Ancient Egypt by Simon Adams
Ancient Egypt: An Interactive History Adventure by Heather Adamson
Beyond the Grave: 39Clues Book 4 by Jude Watson
Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki
The Mummy’s Curse by Franklin Dixon
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Tutankhamen: The Mystery of the Boy King by Zahi Hawass

Bulletin Board

Ancient Egypt: Are there More Tombs to Uncover?

Cover the bulletin board with sandpaper. Cut open a brown paper bag and rip the edges to make it look like parchment. Write “Ancient Egypt: Are there More Tombs to Uncover?” on the bag in black ink. Print out the 3D pyramid template from Don’t Eat the Paste. Print out the 3D Sphinx template on sand colored paper from Paper Toys. Attach the pyramids and the Sphinx to the sandpaper.


Tomb Hunter

Copy the Tomb Hunter nametag provided at the end of this program. Clipart copyright © 2010 by the University of South Florida, Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse.


Where’s My Mummy?

Mummify a couple of storytime puppets by wrapping them in toilet paper until only their eyes show.

A photo of an alligator puppet wrapped up like a mummy

Photo by Megan Clark


Eat Dirt
  • 6 ½ cups cold milk
  • 4 packages (4-serving size) Chocolate flavor instant pudding
  • 2 tubs (12 oz) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 packages (16 oz) chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
  • Gummy worms (optional)

Pour milk into a large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in 6 cups of the whipped topping and ½ of the crushed cookies. Spoon into (2) 13 x 9 baking pans. Sprinkle remaining cookies on top. Burrow gummy worms coming in and out of the dirt. Refrigerate before serving. Serves around 40.

Stories to Tell

The Boy King (by Megan Clark)

Props: Show photos of The Valley of the Kings as well as photos of some of the objects found in King Tutankhamen at appropriate times during the story.

A photograph of the golden mask of King Tut

Photo by Bjorn Christian Torrissen, Wikipedia Commons

A photograph of the Valley of Kings in Egypt

Photo by Nikola Smolenski, Wikipedia Commons

Over 3,000 years ago a nine year old boy was crowned king of Egypt. Little was recorded about his life, and after only nine years on the throne King Tutankhamen died suddenly. Whether he was murdered, or simply died from disease, remains a mystery.

As King Tut was so young at the time of his death, his royal tomb had just barely begun to be built. So the boy king was buried inside a small tomb somewhere in the Valley of the Kings. With him were buried all the things the ancient Egyptians thought the King would need in the next life, including a large amount of treasure. Once the King was laid to rest, all the doorways to the tomb were filled with blocks and plastered over. The wind blew sand over the tomb, and the exact location of the tomb was forgotten.

Traditionally, most of the pharaohs of the Egyptian New Kingdom were buried in the Valley of the Kings, a lonely narrow spot located among the cliffs of the Theban Hills. The Valley of the Kings held not only the mummies of the Pharaohs, but their treasure as well. Because of this, over the centuries the tombs were broken into, the treasure stolen or removed, and the tombs were left empty. By the early 1900s, many Egyptian experts were convinced that there was no longer any treasure left to discover in the Valley of the Kings, and many thought it unlikely that Tutankhamen had been buried there at all.

But one man named Howard Carter believed otherwise. Carter was an archaeologist who had spent his career excavating Egyptian sites and searching for objects that would give clues as to how the ancient Egyptians lived. He was convinced that the tomb of King Tutankhamen had to be located somewhere in the valley, and he hoped that if he could find it maybe, just maybe, the treasure would still be inside.

So for five years Carter and his workers dug in the burning heat, heavy rocks, and stinging sand of the Valley of the Kings. And for five years they found nothing. Lord Carnarvon, the man who was paying the costs of the excavation, told Howard Carter that it was time to give up. But Carter was sure that all they needed was a little more time. He convinced Lord Carnarvon to pay for one more year of searching.

Disheartened, in 1922 Carter and his workers began to clear the rubble on top of the workmen’s huts near the tomb of Ramses VI. When they had finished, Carter had the men dig a little deeper. One November afternoon a worker uncovered what looked like a step, carved into the rock. With great excitement, the workers dug even deeper and by the end of the second day, they had uncovered fifteen steps leading downward. The steps ended abruptly at a plastered doorway. Howard Carter carefully examined the seal stamped into the door. Was this it at last, the long lost tomb of King Tutankhamen? And more importantly, would the king’s treasure still be inside?

The lower portion of the seal was covered in heavy ruble making it impossible to decipher the name. But Carter recognized the official seal of the 18th Dynasty of the Egyptian Kings. Hurriedly, he had the workers re bury the steps with rubble and assigned his most trusted workers to stand guard. He sent an urgent telegram to England asking Lord Carnarvon to come to Egypt at once.

For three long weeks Carter waited as Lord Carnarvon and his daughter made the journey from England to Egypt. But at last, they had arrived, and Carter had the workers once again removed the rubble from the steps. As the workers removed the last of the sand and rock from the bottom of the sealed door Carter could at last read the hieroglyphics. The name on the tomb was Tutankhamen!

Painstakingly the workers began to break through the sealed doorway. Once they were through they found a long passageway filled with rocks. These too had to be cleared away. Then Carter and Carnarvon crawled through the small passageway and approached a second sealed door. With trembling hands Carter chipped a small hole through the door. Then he lit a candle and peered inside.

Howard Carter would later describe in his own words what happened next. “At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist; strange animals, statues and gold—everywhere the glint of gold.”

Carter was so amazed at the sight of the treasure that for a moment he couldn’t utter a single word. Lord Carnarvon, who was behind him, and unable to see into the tomb, anxiously asked, “Can you see anything?” After a long moment Carter said, “Yes—wonderful things.”

The treasure of King Tutankhamen was beyond what even Howard Carter could have dreamed of. Over 2,500 precious items were found in the tomb including golden shrines, statues, chests, jewelry, figurines, jars, and furniture. It remains one of the greatest archaeological finds in history.

The discovery of the boy king has also proved one thing; that no one knows what marvelous

things are yet to be discovered in the far corners of the world. 

Tongue Twister

King Tut Takes a Trip

(by Megan Clark)

King Tut takes a tremendous trip towards treacherous Timbuktu where he trips and tears his terrific toes trying to tickle his teeth.



(Design by Megan Clark. Clipart copyright © 2010 by the University of South Florida, Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse)

A photograph of the sarcophagus craft with the lid open

Artwork and photos by Megan Clark

A photograph of the sarcophagus craft with the lid closed

Artwork and photos by Megan Clark

  • Sarcophagus template available at the end of the program
  • Craft decorating items
  • Colored pencils or c rayons
  • Glue (regular glue works best)

Make multiple copies of the 2-page sarcophagus template at the end of this program.

Cut out the lid template and make sure to cut on the dotted lines as well. Color and decorate the template.

Photograph of the Sarcophagus lid flattened out

Flip the template over and fold all four sides up.

A photograph of the lid with the four flaps turned up

Then fold the tabs with eyes inwards.

A photograph of the lid with the tabs turned up

Glue the eye tabs to the back of the longer sides. The lid should now look like this.

A photograph of the lid with all the flaps glued upright

Now fold the tab forward inside the box and glue. All four sides should now be level.

Photograph of box lid with all for sides at a level height

The sarcophagus is constructed in a similar fashion. Cut out the sarcophagus template and make sure to cut on the dotted lines as well.

Photo of a flattened bottom sarchophagus

Turn the sarcophagus over. The middle block will be the bottom. Fold the four walls of the template up. Then fold all four eye tabs in toward the center.

Photograph of bottom of sarcophagus with the flaps that have eyes on them being folded in

Fold the side wall up and glue the eyes to the back of the longer wall. Do this for all four eye tabs.

A photograph of the flaps with eyes drawn on them being folded towards the center of the box

The sarcophagus should now look like this.

A photograph of the bottom of the sarcophagus with all four flaps brought up

Fold the top section on all four sides down inside the sarcophagus and glue.

A photograph of the bottom of the sarcophagus with the flaps glued down


(by Megan Clark)

A photograph of the completed cartouche craft

 Photos and Artwork by Megan Clark

A photograph of a cartouche craft in mid paint job

Photos and Artwork by Megan Clark
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • ½ cup sand
  • 1 ½ cups cold water
  • Toothpicks
  • Paint
  • Cardboard or poster board
  • Photos of Egyptian hieroglyphics

Prepare the salt dough ahead of time by mixing the flour, salt, and sand together in a large bowl. Slowly add the water, stirring until a stiff dough forms. Make sure the dough is not too sticky by adding additional flour as needed. Store the dough in an air tight container until the program. Give each kid a narrow piece of cardboard or poster board and a small amount of dough about the size of a child’s fist. Have the kids flatten the dough out to a thin layer on top of the piece of cardboard. Provide photos of hieroglyphics and other Egyptian symbols for kids to look at. Using toothpicks, have the kids carve their designs into the dough. Then have the kids paint them. The cartouche will need to be left out overnight in order to harden. However the cardboard underneath should allow kids to transport the cartouche safely without the dough crumbling.

Games and Activities

Mummy Wrap

Provide inexpensive toilet paper for the kids to wrap each other up mummy style. Hold races to see who can wrap their teammate the fastest.

Tomb Excavation

Take a long, thin cardboard box and create a sarcophagus using paint and other decorations. Use The Online Hieroglyphics Translator in order to create hieroglyphics on the sarcophagus. Obtain a kiddy swimming pool and fill it with sand. Bury the sarcophagus in the sand.

Provide kids with a hieroglyphics guide, plastic shovels, and brushes. Have them excavate the sarcophagus. Have them translate what the hieroglyphics mean using the provided guide.

Build a Pyramid

Provide teams with sugar cubes and have them race to see who can build a pyramid the fastest.

Web-Based Activities

National Geographic Kids - Play “The Tomb of the Unknown Mummy” online game, explore facts about Ancient Egypt, and look at photos from real-life tombs at this website.


Tour Egypt - Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see some photos of just a few of the amazing objects found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Professional Resources

Mummies of the Pharaohs: Exploring the Valley of the Kings by Melvin Berger and Gilda Berger

This book gives a riveting account of the history and modern day adventures in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

Pyramids: 50 Hands-on Activities to Experience Ancient Egyptby Avery Hart

This book has a wealth of activities and facts on Ancient Egypt for kids to do and learn.

Tomb Hunter Nametag

Download this PDF file of the tomb hunter nametag, cut out the image, and use it as a nametag or other crafts.

Sarcophogas Template

Download this PDF file of the sarcophagus template.

Dowload this PDF file of the sarcophagus lid template.

Page last modified: January 23, 2012