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Egypt, part I

July 18, 2009

It’s summer. We’re focusing on fun things, like history and science. The Bean began her study of the Ancient World in Egypt. Here are some of our sources:

1. Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself. This is one of my favorite sources. It is actually a good general text for studying Ancient Egypt, but it’s masquerading as a book of projects, so it’s very appealing to kids. The projects are not too time-consuming, and most can be done without a special trip to the store (although we did have to acquire plaster cloth and gold spray paint for the funeral mask because I didn’t have those lying around). I had The  Bean read the text to accompany the projects she did, so her understanding of various aspects of Ancient Egyptian civilization solidified easily.

2. Ancient Egypt Treasure Chest. The Bean really loved this treasure chest. The hands-on pieces are a little cheesy, but they still had appeal. We played the game of Senet and tried to make the necklace project, but the cheesiness of the materials prevented us from completing it. The booklet, however, is a great little overview of most of what you’d want to cover in an Ancient Egypt unit. We like the map and charts and have them displayed on our classroom walls. The Bean liked the hieroglyph stamps and the hieroglyph decoder wheel. She did NOT like or appreciate that I required her to do the art project demonstrating how artists created large-scale paintings using grids and copying the contents of each grid from a small scale to a larger scale. Actually, since the provided illustration was a bit complex, I re-created the project with a different, simpler subject, and she eventually completed the project and proudly displayed it on our Egypt bulletin board. Whew!

3. The Story of the World, Vol. I, and the activity guide thereto. Great for read-aloud, and worth doing, but not very much coverage of the subject. This book is intended for first graders, not really smart third-graders, so we don’t stop with it.

4. The Cat of Bubastes on CD from Greathall Productions. This book was written in the 1880’s, and the vocabulary and general language is just different enough to make it hard for The Bean to slog through on her own. We weren’t having much luck reading it aloud because we were stopping all the time to explain things (not to mention that Buddy and Baby Man were always interrupting), but it works much better on CD, and we are listening to it mostly in the car. I am glad we are sticking with it, because The Bean says it’s better on CD, and she can certainly follow the story even though he doesn’t stop and explain every word, so she’s grasping the old-fashioned language well.

Ay, it’s late, I will have to add the rest later!

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