KS2 Music: Ancient Egypt. Song: 'Build that pyramid'

The song and other video content explores the building and function of pyramids in Ancient Egypt.

Refer to the Teacher's Notes for more information about the song, including follow-up music activities based on it and suggestions for cross-curricular study.

The Pyramids

Rhys Stephenson explores the pyramids of Ancient Egypt - each a tomb for a pharaoh - and what we know about how they were built.

The video includes the process of mummification and the placement of a pharaoh's body within the pyramid.

It also explores a key tool used by the Ancient Egyptians - the set-square and plumb line - which was used to ensure the pyramids were built with amazing accuracy, giving them the strength that has kept many of them standing to this day.

The video also charts the changing design of pyramids over the centuries from simple 'step' pyramids, to pyramids with smooth sides, to the much larger pyramids of Giza - constructed from over two million blocks of limestone.

Rames - The Engineer

The video tells the story of Rames, a fictional 12-year-old boy living at the time of the pyramids (c 2580 BC - c 1880 BC).

Rames and his brother User are joining many other farm workers to help with the construction of the pharaoh's 'great project' - his pyramid. The two boys join the teams cleaving the limestone blocks in the quarry and then transporting the blocks by sledge over the desert sand.

It's very hard work because the sand constantly forms a barrier to the smooth sliding of the sledge. But Rames has an idea: if they soak the sand in front of the sledge with water the sledge runners should slide over the surface of the sand.

Rames is right and he is rewarded with the job of organising more water from the River Nile. NB: it is generally agreed that this was a technique adopted by the Ancient Egyptians to ease the movement of sledges across the sand.


Song: 'Build that pyramid' - Instrumental

Teacher's Notes
Build that pyramid - Lyrics
Build that pyramid - Music
Download audio
Set-square and plumb line

More songs from KS2 Music: Ancient Egypt

Out of the gloom, Tutankhamun
So many gods and goddesses
Amulets and hieroglyphs