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!

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