Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Exploring the Egyptians

I don't really know where to start with this post as from a small beginning, all manner of amazing things have come about! With huge thanks to my mum and her teaching expertise I will list with pictures, links and descriptions where possible, all the things we have studied over the last few weeks! As blogger doesn't seem to want to let me upload any of the pictures that were taken, I will try and add them another day! Sorry!

An interest in Egyptians was triggered by the history curriculum that we have begun to use. It is a classical curriculum entitled The Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer and alongside it we have Activity Book One which has enrichment and expansion activities, links to geography, mapping, crafts and further reading to enable the curriculum to be used with children of different ages and stages. The story of Ancient Egypt begins in chapter two and we haven't got past it in the last six weeks!

We began by visiting the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery in Coventry, to look at their Secret Egypt Exhibition. It was very well done and covered lots of archaeological 'know-how' such as how to tell a fake from a real artifact. It provided the launch pad for lots of questions and lots of ideas to explore.

Since then Eve has put Egyptian Civilisation on a timeline, right down at one end, with our family birth dates clustered at the other end and lots of space to add in other sections of history as we go.

Mum and Eve discussed the Nile and how it floods each season and how because it floods it creates rich farmland either side. She made a papyrus boat out of straws and paper.

Eve made a version of papyrus from weaving paper together and then sealing it with a mixture of glue and water to give it the sheen of natural papyrus.

After reading through books they made a comparison chart between ordinary Egyptians and ordinary people today, looking at clothes worn, foods eaten, housing, leisure activities etc.

Mum sewed up an Egyptian dress and Eve spent ages designing a decorative collar from tinfoil covered pasta and cut straws!

Still in the pipeline are completing a family tree alongside looking at Tutankhamen's family tree. By chance there happened to be a documentary series on channel five at the same time all about how archaeologists and scientists put together King Tut's family tree. Eve was glued to it and it served a great introduction for some genetics and linking science and literature to history and archeology. Just need to finish up the family tree and compare them now! Mum also found a great book all about the excavation of Tutankhamen's tomb and it was perfectly pitched for Eve.... we rattled through it... twice so far!!

Also still waiting is some amulet making and mummy-wrapping with the baby dolls..... the Ancient History activity book has full instructions for mummifying a chicken but I didn't think it suitable for a five year old!!

A list of brilliant books that Mum found at her library (much better than our poorly stocked one!) are:
I'm going to try and put all the parts together into a 'lapbook' style format for Eve to keep and add to and refer back to. Mum commented on her phenomenal concentration whilst they were doing all the activities.... nearly two hours unbroken.... amazing.... probably something to do with having the full attention of her beloved Granny but whatever works!!!

1 comment:

  1. retired granny mummy13 April 2011 at 07:42

    Jenni has only recorded a fraction of what Eve and I covered. The first session was nearly 3 hours of unbroken concentration followed by 2 hours later. We also covered the amazing concept of close relative marriage being a bad idea, and their religious beliefs.
    Her uncle over from Canada made pyramids with her in the sand pit. I believe grave robbing figured strongly.
    It pressed all my retired teacher buttons!