Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Egyptian Numeration Pyramid

Frieda Bates
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students construct a 3-D pyramid and decorate it with Egyptian numbers and their equivalent in our numerical system.


The student uses concrete materials and symbolic notation to represent numbers in bases other than base ten, such as base five.


-Paper (plain white or construction)
-Colored pencils
-Glue or tape


Gather materials listed.


1. After distributing the paper, instruct the students to place it in an up-and-down position. Instruct them to fold the upper right hand corner down to the left side of the paper. The top of the paper should now be even with the left side of the paper. After the top is lined up evenly with the left side, students crease the paper. Instruct students to cut off the bottom portion of the paper with their scissors. After removing this bottom portion and unfolding the paper, each student should have a square.

2. Students then refold the square of paper along the crease. Then they fold it one more time. This time, when they unfold the square paper, it will be divided into four triangles.

3. Select one of the creases, and cut from the corner to the center of the paper.

4. Then, show the students that when they slide one triangle under the other at the cut, a 3-D pyramid will be formed. Do not glue or tape it in this position at this time. However, do have them place an X on the triangle that will be folded under and not be seen when their pyramid is in its 3-D position.

5. Review the Egyptian numeration system. (In Santa Rosa County, we use the 1998 Harcourt Brace series. The Egyptian numeration system is covered in the fourth grade level of this series.)

6. Remind the students that the triangle with the X will not be seen. On each of the other sections they should write one number in standard form and its equivalent in the Egyptian numeration system.

7. Then instruct the students to place their pyramid in its 3-D position and secure it with glue or tape.


Mastery or nonmastery will be based on whether or not students fully complete their pyramids by writing numbers in standard form and their equivalent in the Egyptian numeration system.


Teachers may also instruct the students to write each selected number in expanded form and or in words.
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