Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ancient Egypt

We've chosen to follow the classical style of teaching history, which means we are going roughly in chronological order. You spend 4 years working through history (ancient history, middle ages, early modern, modern) and then go back to the beginning and start all over again, but in more detail. For our first pass through, we're using Usborne books (though I'm planning to switch to the science curriculum from Pandia Press and might try out their history too).

We've worked our way through the prehistoric times and Mesopotamia and it's time to move on to Ancient Egypt. Sierra's been excited to get to this part and has already read one book on Egyptian History on her own, so I wanted to included a lot of extras for this one. I've set aside 6 weeks to spend and here are some of the activities we'll be including:

Your very own Rosetta Stone: I wrote down a message that had to do with our family history, then I came up with a short story that included all of the words in my original message. I created a symbol for each word in that short story (phonetically; things like to, too and two have the same symbol). Then on one page I wrote the story along with the symbols and on another page, she has the original message written in just symbols. She'll use her "Rosetta stone" to decode the message.

Make a pyramid: I'm not entirely sure she gets what a pyramid actually looks like from the 2D pictures in a book, so I'm going to print out these on heavier paper and let her cut them out, and fold and glue them into a pyramid shape.

Mummify a barbie: We'll follow the directions on this site to learn a little more about mummification. Update: Here is the post showing Sierra making her mummy.

Mummify an apple: We'll follow the directions on this site to both tie in a lesson on scientific process and gain a visual understanding of the dessication step of mummification

Try food from Egypt: I'm not sure what we'll make yet, but I think we'll try something with dates (maybe these candies) and maybe some more recent food, probably hummus since she has decided she likes chick peas. She'll help me make everything and we'll all try it. Update: I posted a tutorial on how to make the date candies later on in the blog.

Make "papyrus" from construction paper: I found this website (there are a few pop ups through that link, you probably want to have a pop up blocker if you visit) that gives directions on making your own papyrus with river reeds, but we'll be using the easier construction paper method they give at the end of the article.

Crossword Puzzle: A fun way to review the information, I found an Egypt crossword puzzle on the SeaWorld website, of all places.

Find the area on the globe: We've been doing this all along. We always get the globe down while we're reading from the history book and I point out the area we're talking about. For Egypt, I'll also be giving her an outline map and having her draw in the Nile River, Memphis, Giza and Rosetta.

Time line: I still haven't started a time line, but I really think she needs it. Whenever I read something like 1800bc, I tell her, "that was about 4,000 years ago" and she has some idea of how big a number that is from her math lessons, but I think she needs something more concrete. I've heard of the Sonlight time lines and mostly liked the idea, but I'm hoping the time line Pandia Press is releasing soon will be just right.

It's going to be a busy 6 weeks, but I think we'll have lots of fun!!


Martianne said...

Lots of great ideas for our future studies here, thanks! If you are ever studying Japan, head on over to my blog and leave a comment to ask for resource ideas. I have loads, but haven't posted about them as my kids are not there yet...

Julie said...

Looks like great fun! I mentioned Usborne books in my Homeschool Helps post too. We are currently doing the human body lessons from the Pandia Press science if you want any feedback about how that curriculum has been working for us. :)

Angie @ Many Little Blessings said...

It sounds like you guys are doing some really fabulous activities! We're going to start studying ancient history next year, and I know that my kids will be thrilled. We did talk about Egypt some around the time when we went to see the King Tut exhibit. I can't wait to start it, especially after reading your post!


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