Cultural Studies - Ancient Egypt

Thursday, October 10, 2013




We studied Ancient Egypt to go along with our work with Sonlight, Core B.  We are working our way through history from Creation to the fall of Rome so the past three weeks found us in Ancient Egypt.

Hope this post is helpful!



Egyptian Culture - what we covered


In our home, we believe in presenting our children with a "generous curriculum" as Charlotte Mason said.  But, with this generous curriculum comes a whole lot of careful discussion and thorough studies about all aspects of whatever we are discussing - especially cultures like Ancient Egypt.  The truth is, Egyptian culture is full of idolatry, false gods, satanic symbolism, and a whole bag full of potentially harmful ideals.  I found that so many of the crafts and projects related to Ancient Egypt called for creating and replicating symbolic idols, gods, and ancient amulets.  I wanted to stay away from these ideas, as I just wasn't comfortable presenting them to our children and having them sit around our house.

A speckle of Ancient Egypt symbolism is found in our stickers from a craft book and also in the hieroglyphics.  Just wanted to add this as a 'side note' so to speak - because I do very much believe in the spiritual darkness tied to Ancient Egyptian practices.  We tried to keep it 'light' and had the chance to have some GREAT talks about spiritual issues and truths.  And yes, the kids talked me into making Mummies... so...  *sigh*

It was, however, an incredible opportunity to have some deep discussions with the kids about eternity, the afterlife, and what we believe as followers of Jesus vs. what the Ancient Egyptians believed.

Some of the topics we covered included:

  • Locating Egypt on a map and learning about the Nile river
  • Life along the Nile, including weather patterns and farming techniques
  • Ancient Egyptian homes, food, clothing, and family life
  • Ancient Egyptian temples, beliefs, and gods
  • Going to school in Ancient Egypt
  • Hieroglyphics
  • Pyramids - why they were built, what was inside, how they were built
  • King Tut's life, death, burial, and the discovery of his tomb in the 1920s
  • Pharaoh and his court, battles, and burial practices
  • Mummification
  • History of Pharaohs
  • Bible - Moses and the Exodus out of Egypt, the story of Joseph.
  • Our faith as followers of Christ and how that compares to the beliefs of Ancient Egyptians (monotheistic vs. polytheistic)
  • Discussing how the bible lines up perfectly with non-biblical historical accounts of Egypt.

The Books and Resources

The books we used for our study of Ancient Egypt.

Our favorites - We LOVED reading through the Time Traveler section on Ancient Egypt, it's a fantastic living book.  We also really enjoyed Tut's Mummy, Lost and Found as an engaging book about the famous King Tut.  Egyptian Things to Make and Do from Usborne also came in handy for some great crafts and projects.  We loved their Hieroglyphics page at the back of the book and the glossy stickers!


This is a beautiful coloring book, if you can get your hands on it!

Here are the free Lapbook resources we used:

Homeschool Share's Ancient Egypt Unit Study/Lapbook
Practical Pages 3-D lapbook of Ancient Egypt

Google "Ancient Egypt Coloring Pages" and you will find the majority of the other pages you see in this post and in our lapbooks.  I didn't bookmark every page, because there were just too many.  I also created a bunch of the pages you see pretty easily in Word.

For the crafts, I want to mention - the ideas came from a Egyptian Things to Make and Do (Usborne).


Making Egyptian Arm Cuffs




These Egyptian Arm Cuffs were easy to make with simple materials.

Needs:

Cardstock or a thick paper
Tape
Tin-foil
Paints, stickers, decorations of your choosing

Make Them:

1. Cut strips of cardstock into pieces wide enough for cuffs and long enough to go around your child's wrist.
2. Cover the cardstock with tin foil, shiny side up and tape in place.
3. Wrap the cuff around your child's wrist and tape to the appropriate size.
4. Decorate and have fun!





Making Mummies and Royal Caskets

Alright, I loosened up a bit and had the kids make these Mummies/Caskets. Kind of morbid - but hey, it's Ancient Egypt... morbid is in!  We did opt out of the Canopic Jars though - a little too weird for me!

For the Mummies-

Needs:
Tin Foil
Paper towel ripped into strips
White glue

Make it:
1. Using the Tin Foil, for each Mummy, make a small ball for the head, a longer oval shape (should be rounded) for the torso, two long rolls for the legs and two shorter rolls for arms.  Place all the parts in the shape of a person on a larger piece of Tin Foil and wrap it all together so they look like the first image below.
2. Dip pieces of paper towel in water and start coating the Mummies in pieces of 'cloth'.  Once you do a few strips, you won't need to soak the rest, they will absorb water from the other wet pieces.
3. Once the Mummies are completely covered in white 'cloth', set out to dry.
4. When they're dry, paint them with a good covering of white glue.  Once they're dry, they're done!



For the Burial Caskets-

Needs:
A large piece of Bristol Board (one piece did three caskets)
Tape
White Tissue Paper
Gold Tissue Paper
White Glue
Paint to decorate

Make it:
1. Cut the base and top of the casket in the shape of an oval with a flat bottom.
2. Cut two long strips of paper for the sides of the bottom and top (about three times longer than your base).  The bottom strip will be wider (mine was about 3 inches) and the top strip will be about 1 1/2 inches.
3. Cut along one edge of the strips to create slits.
4. Wrap the long strips around your base and top by folding the flaps around and taping in place.
5. Once you have a top/bottom, you're ready to create your 3-D top.
6. Using white tissue paper, roll a flat-ish ball for the head and a flat-ish oval for the body (see below in the first image).  Take these in place on your lip/top.
7. Cover your casket top and bottom with strips of shiny gold tissue paper and glue in place.
8. Once your casket is dry, paint and decorate!

*This craft takes a lot of time and effort... just so you know. Ha.

 

Voila... only 8 hours later...  ;)
 
 
 

Our Ancient Egypt Lapbooks/Notebooks

 


Nile River art project.  The kids had fun with these sketches from Ancient Egyptian Things to Make and Do.



 
Fun with Hieroglyphics.  We decided it would be neat to write our names using Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  Here's how they turned out:

Simon

Audrey
 
Alex

Ancient Egyptian art!


Learning about Egyptian homes.


Learning about the foods.
 
Coloring from the Ancient Egypt Coloring Book
 
 
 
Learning about Polytheistic societies and the gods of Egypt.


Learning what the Bible says about false gods.
 
The Plagues of Egypt and where they are found in Exodus.


How do you make a Mummy?  Also - the Crowns of Egypt.

Learning about The Rosetta Stone.

Three kinds of Ancient Egyptian writing.

Secret Messages -

Why not write a special message to your child/ren for them to find?  The trick - it's written in Hieroglyphics for them to decode!  I did this one morning and it was a hit. 







Thanks for reading!

xo


 
 
The Homeschool Village

1 comment:

  1. This looks like so much fun! I love the idea of writing a special message for your children to de-code, they must have loved that!

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