Ancient Egypt

As a framework for our topic, we built up a timeline, gradually adding in the main kingdom and intermediate periods, and studying different aspects of Egyptian life as they occurred in the timeline.

We were lucky enough to visit three different Egyptian exhibitions – it seems that there is usually some museum somewhere doing Ancient Egypt, plus the regular permanent collections in many major museums.

We looked at Egyptian writing and numbers, made our own “papyrus” out of soaked strips of brown paper and pva glue, wrote a play about the biblical story of Joseph, coped Egyptian art and designed canopic jars.

These are some of the fun and practical activities that we did over the course of the topic.

Elsa made the double crown of Egypt out of cardboard

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We made a water clock out of two clay pots

We made shaduf out of knex and lego

And then made an enormous one in the garden!

We also mummified a chicken.  To do this we took an ordinary supermarket chicken and washed and dried it well.   We also weighed it to find out its initial weight.  We then made a salt mixture of table salt,, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spices.  We stuffed the chicken full of this and then put it in a bag and surrounded it completely with the salt mixture.  Every few days initially, and then every week, we took the chicken out, emptied the salt and dried the chicken well, and re-filled the chicken and bag with fresh salt mixture.  Eventually after about 6 weeks the chicken was completely mummified.  We weighed it again to find out how much weight it had lost.  We then made and painted clay amulets to put inside the bandages, and wrapped the “mummy” in strips of old sheet.  Our finished mummy went into a shoe box coffin and is still in the cellar 8 months later not smelling at all!