Tuesday, August 20

Ancient Egypt Unit Study - The Good & the Beautiful History

In Year 1 of The Good & the Beautiful history, we first study Ancient Egypt.  We started with Genesis, and the story of Joseph and his brothers.  I found this old bible that my aunt gave me as a young girl, and the pictures are wonderful for reading aloud together!
Neither of the boys was interested in being a slave, but they both wanted to be pharaoh.  We studied the unification of the Upper and Lower Egyptian kingdoms and created our own double crown.  (see below)

Moving through time, we came to Ramses II and the story of Moses.  Everyone knows that Moses was found floating down the Nile in a boat made of reeds...so we made our own reed boat!  We cut two-foot long pieces of grass from the field and lashed them together to fashion a crude raft. 
As part of our unit study, we have been reading Seasons of the Sandstorms, a Magic Tree House book that takes Jack & Annie to life in the desert.  We also watched The Ten Commandments, with Charlton Heston.

If you're planning to study the Old Testament, here are a few free resources to get you started.  Everything listed below is a free download.

Joseph & Moses
Moving into the unit, we read The Golden Goblet, in which the characters live in open-air houses, with courtyards.  The boys spent the morning building their own home out of bamboo and sheets.  It came out pretty well!   But before heading out, we made some models of the pyramids and Sphinx from Legos.
As the sun rose, they moved over to the playground, in the shade of the trees.  We have a playground, but it's really the sand that gets played with the most.  This time, they built the Valley of the Kings deep in the playground sand.  They pulled out some trinkets to bury with the pharaohs, and set booby-traps for any tomb robbers that might stumble along.  
While mom cooked lunch, they created these cute little paper pyramids and Sphinx.  A few episodes of Tutenstein, and then we finished reading our book on the front porch swing.  On days like today, with the relaxed learning atmosphere, it's sweet to be a homeschooling family.

Ancient Egypt Resources
For science, we built the Nile River out of clay, so that we could learn about how the flooding of the Nile River affected the agriculture of Egypt.  It's also time to begin the seeds for our winter garden, and I always say, "work smarter, not harder!"  We put potting soil around the Nile River, planted our seeds, and VOILA!  Killing two birds with one stone.
We'll probably flood the Nile River a little more often than occurs in Egypt, just to keep the seeds healthy.  The boys even found some little Egyptian toys from a Toob to decorate the soil!
We topped off the week by taking Daddy on a trip to the Egyptian collection at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum, where we explored the world of mummies and canopic jars.  We even saw mummified cats and birds!  Upon returning home, the oldest set out to make himself a special mask that goes on the sarcophagus of the pharaoh.  It turned out to be a little harder than expected, but was still quite detailed.  All in all, a fun unit!

Looking for more Ancient Egypt?
Explore the globe and discover the history of ancient civilizations including the very start of civilization, the Flood, early Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, Babylon, the Hittites, the Canaanites, the Phoenicians, Israel, Persia, China, Africa, North and South America, Australia, early Europe, the Greeks, and the Romans with the SchoolhouseTeachers History of Ancient Civilization homeschool history course.

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Pick up a printable copy of this unit in the Humanities Unit Study Bundle!

Includes seventeen unit studies covering history and language arts based topics. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning ancient through modern history and various writing styles.
  • Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.
  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
  • Some units also have cooking projects.
These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

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