Tuesday, November 08, 2016

More Egypt

Today I taught again for our elementary co-op.  Another mom, Stephanie, volunteered to come in and help, and it was so nice to have her there!  I think the kids must have been on their best behavior for her, though, because while the first week I taught the 4 year olds were very distracted and antsy, this time they were all riveted and quiet.  It was amazing!

We are still covering ancient Egypt, so this week we learned about mummies and pyramids.  I talked about what the Egyptians believed happened when a person died--they went on a big journey to the underworld, so they need lots of stuff to help them on their journey.  I contrasted that with what the Bible says about how only our souls are eternal, and we can't take anything else with us when we die.  I made up a little craft with clip art images I found to glue in a sort of "tomb".

We talked about the "Book of the Dead", and I was able to show off some papyrus paintings my parents had given us from Egypt awhile back.  We talked about how the Egyptians believed that a dead person's heart was weighed against a feather, and if the heart was filled with truth and light, then it would be lighter than the feather, and the person would get to go into Osiris's kingdom and live happily ever after, but if the heart was full of wickedness and evil, then it would be heavier than a feather, and a monster would eat it.  I asked the kids if that was how God really judged us--by how much good stuff we do?  No, because we would all have heavy hearts, since "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God".  It is only because Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, so that when God looks at our sins, he sees Jesus' blood, that we can enter heaven.  We can never do enough good things, because we are all sinners, and just one bad thing is enough to keep us out of heaven, since God is perfectly holy. Hopefully it all made an impact, but you never know with 4 and 5 year olds!

Then we talked about the process of mummification.  Next week for our big 5th week activity, I'm reprising my mummy talk from 7 years ago, complete with chicken mummies, and I wanted these little guys have to some background knowledge of mummification.  They were quite interested!  I demonstrated with a ken doll, and even wrapped him up in cloth strips.

Then we talked about pyramids, since rich people wanted a nice, special place to be buried.      
The kids made rice krispie pyramids.  I ended up using 3 inch square blocks as the base, then 2 inch blocks for the next layer, and then 1 1/2 inch for the top.  Of course, that makes more of a step pyramid, so I had them squish the top block into more of a point, and Stephanie and I went around and trimmed the sides at an angle so they had a more pyramidal shape.  The kids got to eat the scraps, so they were all enthusiastic about this part!
The small pyramids on the side were with left-over rice krispies.  It's so fun to squish rice krispies!  I was absolutely thrilled when I found these huge sheets of pre-made rice krispies treats for sale at Walmart a few days ago.  What a time savings!  I made enough pyramids for 16 kids, plus my sample ones, and I used 2 big trays.  They were really sturdy squares, too, nice and dense.  They worked well!

After that, I read a short book to them about mummies and pyramids from the library (*creatively titled Pyramids and Mummies by Seymour Simon).  It had pictures of some real mummies, plus lots of pyramid pictures, so the kids were all interested.  It was fun, but I'm glad to be done!

Now all that is left for Egypt is the 5th week.  I'm busily drawing mummies on cardboard, and I need to paint them.  I also need to finish wrapping the one chicken mummy, and put him in his shoebox sarcophagus.  I only taught life science and memory work after getting home, so that was a bit of a break, which was especially nice because I've picked up a cold, with a sore throat and bit of a cough.  I'll just teach biology on Thursday this week.  I was able to vote after memory work, and there wasn't even a line!  

I think if I can just get through next Thursday's biology  class, things will settle down.  Maybe.  I'm hoping.  

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