Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Egypt 5th Week Activity

Today was the culmination of the Egypt unit for our elementary co-op.  I was super happy to get the chickens that have been mummifying on my kitchen counter since the end of August out of the house!
Here I am in my lovely ancient Egyptian attire. I bought this ensemble for 20 bucks on Amazon right after Halloween.  If you didn't leap at the deal then, you missed your chance--it's up to $40 now.  I'm so sorry.  It has a crown too, with dangly gold chains, but I graciously let my helper Stephanie wear that.  My hair really looked triangular with it on.  I guess i just don't have Egyptian hair, lol.

I also spent a good deal of time trying to figure out Egyptian eyeliner, specifically that winged look.  I never really got the hang of it, alas, so hopefully it never becomes a style trend for stay at home homeschooling moms around here.  I am flanked by my painted cardboard mummies (minus the cat), and I'm holding King Cluck in his golden sarcophagus. I am definitely trying to keep these mummies, chickens, etc.  I don't want to have to repeat all this a third time in 7 years!
I gave the same little talk about the mummification process that I gave 7 years ago.  Everyone was pretty interested in touching the mummified but unwrapped chicken to see what it felt like.  It feels pretty firm, and the flesh turns a dark purplish color.  They were also quite interested in smelling it.  This time I embalmed it in just salt, baking soda, and baking powder, instead of adding spices.  You might think that would make it smell worse, but you would be wrong.  The spices just add . . . something . . . to the smell that makes it more unpleasant.  The wrapped mummy got rubbed with scented oil, and he definitely had that same weirder smell.  The unwrapped one is not as . . .  different.  It's weird.
Then the kids did the same "mummification practice" on bananas that they did 7 years ago--cut a slit in the side of a banana with a plastic knife, scoop out a few spoonfuls of "organs" and place them into the "canopic jar" (dixie cup).  Then fill the cavity with cotton balls, tape it shut with 2 pieces of waterproof tape, and wrap the whole thing up with toilet paper.  Voila--mummy!  For some reason, the whole thing didn't take as much time as it did the last time.  In 7 more years, I'll have to add to the presentation, or have some other craft.  I think the opening ceremony part was longer last time.  Ah well--it was fine.  We reviewed things they learned about Egypt during the 4 teaching weeks.
We had 3 other rooms besides the mummy room for the tiers to rotate through.  One was a pyramid building room.  They built pyramids using boxes and moved heavy things around on sledges.  We were a bit worried about this room because it seemed like teachers might not be here because of sickness, but everyone did show up, and it went really well.  The kids enjoyed it.  It is always great to have big hands-on things, especially using things like simple machine principles!
Another room had food and other stuff.  The moms in here were super prepared, and they had baked up Egyptian food for the kids to taste, as well as had things for the kids to do, like grind barely and make little jars of scented oil. Plus they got cool points for having the kids sit on the floor on big pillows and flat tables!
The last room was a craft room.  One of the food room moms had been at a VBS this past summer that had a Moses/Egyptian theme, and they did this cute "woven" basket craft.  I ordered the kits from a company I had never heard of, www.ssww.com.  They were only $1 each, which I thought was a good price  The moms in that room had to cut the yarn into 10 yd pieces, but the kids just had to weave the yarn in and out of these white posts.  There are an odd number of posts, so the basket keeps getting higher.  They were really cute!
Here's a close-up of Faith's basket.

So it went really well, and I came home to teach life science and memory work, give haircuts to Luke and Caleb, and give baths to Micah, Drew, and Verity.  Now I am really crashing.  I can't believe how tired I am!  And I can't believe that after biology on Thursday, we'll be on Thanksgiving break!!  I am SUPER thankful about that!

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