desert beyond the valley of the kings, egypt

Let's play... Cobras and Vipers!

Cobras and Vipers (and an Egyptian noblewoman) at Edinburgh Literary Festival 

Egyptian Jewellery

I think that festival events and school visits should be memorable 
and fun -- for myself as well as the children. And what could be more   fun than dressing up and playing games? With this in mind, the
Egyptian Chronicles event was born, and it's been a great success at Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Oxford and Hay-on-Wye literary festivals as well as lots of libraries, museums and schools. It's highly educational,
of course, and fits perfectly with studies of ancient Egypt at Key Stage 2.

Here's how it works:

  • The group watches as I transform myself into an ancient Egyptian noblewoman
  • Readings from the Egyptian Chronicles are brief, and chosen for key facts that the group should try to remember
  • Next, the group is divided into two teams to play the interactive board game, Cobras and Vipers. Questions are about ancient
    Egypt or from the readings of the Egyptian Chronicles. Everyone
    is guaranteed to get a little noisy and overexcited, in the best possible way!
  • Questions and answers at the end can be about the books, the writing process or about ancient Egypt.

Children love learning about scarab beetles -- what a great excuse to talk about poo!

In this workshop, I explain the importance of amulets to the ancient Egyptians, including scarabs and the Eye of Horus. Then the children start making their own. When they have completed two
Eye of Horus amulets, they string them onto a necklace or bracelet, choosing clay beads to create their own special effect. They each receive a beautiful scarab bead to complete the design.

This event has been such a success during Black History Month that I'm now making it available to schools.


Nuts and bolts

Both events are
 designed for all year groups in Key Stage 2. They are ideal for children studying ancient Egypt.
Session length
As described, each session takes roughly one hour.
Group size
Cobras and Vipers: this works well with any number of children. It's particularly good for larger groups. As a result I often work with a whole year group, or even two. Maximum group size: 300 children
Egyptian Jewellery: ideal for a single class. Maximum group size: 30 children.

Single session: £150 + travel
Whole day (maximum three one-hour sessions): £300 + travel
Area covered
The whole of the UK. I have bases in London, Brighton, Manchester and mid-Wales, so I can reach most of the south, midlands and north as far as Leeds on a day-return basis. Otherwise I need provision for an overnight stay.
To make an enquiry or booking, please email:

The literacy angle

The Cobras and Vipers event is geared more towards history than literacy, although it does require listening and comprehension skills, while the Egyptian Jewellery workshop engages artistic and crafts skills. Teachers who wish to expand the literacy angle are welcome to drop me a line to discuss it. I'm happy to create different versions of the event, especially when visiting a school for a whole day. Please feel free to ask!

Resources for teachers

Each of the Egyptian Chronicles has a Fascinating Fact File at the back, which can be used both to aid comprehension of the books and as a basis for further study.