In this unit we focused on ancient Egypt. We learned about how Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, was sold by his brothers and was taken as a slave to Egypt. After many interesting events, he became a leader in Egypt and his whole family joined him there. They became the twelve tribes of Israel. Four hundred years later we find them in the book of Exodus as slaves to Pharaoh. That’s where Moses came in and was sent by God to tell Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” There is so much more to this fascinating time of history. If you’ve never read it straight from the Bible I highly recommend it! (Read it online here: Genesis 37 - Exodus 15)
I am privileged to have a sister who actually lived in Cairo for a few years. She and other family members have brought back items for us such as small drums, a papyrus painting of the Tree of Life, papyrus bookmarks, a hieroglyphic decoder, Egyptian alphabet cards, miniature pyramids, and other souvenirs.
Here are some of the activities we did:
- I let the boys discuss what they saw in our "Tree of Life" painting and what they thought it meant. Then we learned about what it symbolized. This painting and information about it can be viewed at: http://www.lost-civilizations.net/ancient-egypt-egyptian-art-architecture.html
- We went to an exhibit on the mummies of Egypt that just happened to be at the science museum.
- Learned how people were mummified. The boys were especially interested in how they pulled the brains out of the nose, so it also because a bit of an anatomy lesson. Bonus!
- We read Flat Stanley The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery by Sara Pennypacker. This was a super fun book, the boys loved it. There is a teaching guide for this book here: http://www.flatstanleybooks.com/downloads/FlatStanley_TeachingGuideEgypt.pdf
- We located Egypt and the Nile River on the globe.
- Made a Sun Clock kind of like this one: http://www.sciencekidsathome.com/science_experiments/sundial-1.html
- We decoded a hieroglyphic messages and wrote our names in hieroglyphic symbols
- We put together puzzles of a Nile crocodile and a camel with a palm tree (from Egypt).
- We reenacted the Plagues while we read about them.
- We watched the Prince of Egypt. It helped bring the Exodus story to life.
- Ate Matzo Ball soup when we were learning about the passover. We used Streit’s mix that you can probably find at any grocery store. It’s actually very good and we’ve had it several times since.
Here are the books we read:
Hieroglyphs, the Code Quest by Sean Caller *This one was fun because the pictures were great, there are hieroglyphics throughout the book that you can decode and there is a CD for more decoding fun on the computer.
Digging Up History: Archaeologists by Judy Peterson
The Great Pryramid by Hazel Martell
Egyptian Pyramid by Gillian Clements
Flat Stanley-The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery by Pennypacker
Riddle of the Rosetta Stone by James Giblin *We saw a replica of the Rosetta Stone at the museum and and the boys were super excited about it because they remembered it from this book.
In the Days of the Pharaohs by Milton Meltzer
Next Unit: The Children of Israel (promised land, prophets, kings)
If you haven't read about our previous two units visit the "Class Time" page.