We are making our way through history by reading A Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer. After studying United States history for two years (because my kids loved it that much!), Old Testament history, then each state’s history and geography, I thought it was time to get a good overview of the history of the world! This book is more like a long narrative, rather than a history text book, from early man to the 20th century. My goal is to let the children explore and delve deeper into the topics and time periods that interest them. So, our first stop of deeper study is Egypt!
We are also reading along with Usborne Time Traveller and The Usborne Book of World History. We have written in hieroglyphics, illustrated a map of Egypt and the Nile River, made Egyptian collars with paper plates, measured and constructed a paper pyramid, watched a youtube movie of an aerial view of Egypt, and built Lego pyramids (complete with a sphinx, burial pyramids for the wives, Egyptian pyramid workers and for some reason one Egyptian in a pool)!
The favorite activity though was mummifying apples! The kids got a big kick out of this! And it was very simple to do!
Sadly, our apple Pharaohs died, one in battle and one from old age. We had to prepare them for burial.
Step 1: I helped peel the apple and cut out the brains and organs (the core). You can keep the organs in canopic jars, if you want!
Step 2: We carved a simple face on each Pharaoh, which was harder than we thought!
Step 3: Placed the Pharaoh in a jar.
Step 4: Filled the jar with Natron.
Natron was an important preservative the Egyptians used in their embalming process.Natron worked to preserve the mummy in 3 ways:
- Dried the moisture in the flesh to inhibit the growth of bacteria
- Degreased to remove moisture-filled fat cells
- Served as a microbial disinfectant.
If you don’t have natron, you can simply mix table salt and baking soda, with a ratio of 2:1.
Step 5: Seal the jar and wait at least a week! This process would have taken as long as 100 days in ancient Egypt. The apples had shrunk, turned brown and had started to dry out. We opened the jars after 7 days. I might wait a little longer for even more shrinkage.
My children wanted their Pharaohs to have a tomb to rest in. They found a box, placed the apple heads inside and gathered jewels, furniture and statues they might need in the afterlife. Well, that is what my daughter did. My son added bouncy balls, paper clips and a Star Wars toy….:)
Other books we checked out from our local library:
- 20 Fun Facts About the Great Pyramids by Kristen Rajczak
- First Facts About the Ancient Egyptians by Jacqueline Morley
- Make it Work! Ancient Egypt, The Hands on Approach to History by Andrew Haslam
- Cat Mummies by Kelly Trumble
Hands on Egypt Multimedia Sampler– 5 Unique hands on activities!
Be sure to check out my other blogs about teaching ideas!
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*The Pharaoh often had several wives but only one was queen.
*Girls usually married around the age of 12 and boys around age 15
*Women could own property and earn wages as well as divorce and remarry.
*Bread was full of grit from the grindstone and sand was added to the grain to speed grinding, both of which wore away people’s teeth.