Learning About Egypt

As always, we started learning about Egypt by completing fact sheets. Also, we have been marking the population of each country we study in the population chart. So, he is comparing the population of each country we have studied so far. Similarly, we are marking the religion demographics for each country in the religion chart. Doing this gets our feet wet and gives us a general idea of the country we are studying. After this, Kabir starts planning the main topic of his presentation. He knew that he is interested in mummy and so, we started exploring about mummy in books and online.

After studying about mummies in detail, we participated in the field trip to the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology at University of Memphis. We saw a 20-minute video on Egypt. Then kids could touch reproductions of Egyptian relics such as papyrus. After that we were given a guided tour of the ancient Egyptian collection. It was fascinating especially because we were well prepared.

Then started the process of making a mummy. We got the inspiration from this website. We bought a cornish hen. Kabir named him “Pharaoh Chickenkhamun” and followed the following process:

Washed him thoroughly with water.

Washed him thoroughly with water.

Washed him with rubbing alcohol.

Washed him with rubbing alcohol.

Massaged him with oil and cinnamon.

Massaged him with oil and cinnamon.

Covered him with pickling salt (for dehydration) and baking soda (for preservation).

Covered him with pickling salt (for dehydration) and baking soda (for preservation).

Then we let him dry for about 15 days. Once dried, we wrapped Pharaoh Chickenkhamun in strips of white linen and put him in his sarcophagus.

While Pharaoh Chickenkhamun was drying, we made amulets (scarab beetle, stairway, and Ankh) and canopic jars. We put plastic organs in the canopic jars as we didn’t have any internal organ from our cornish hen we bought at Walmart. Also, we tried making papyrus with construction paper so that we could have a “Book of Dead” for our little Pharaoh.

Additionally, we made a pyramid of Legos for our Pharaoh Chickenkhamun. Kabir made 3 rooms: burial chamber, food room and furniture room. While making the pyramid, we learnt many small lessons. For example, we used all pieces of Legos possible as we had to do with what we have and buying more wasn’t an option. So, he used odd pieces very cleverly and left gaps where we could. We were innovative! Also, we learnt that to make the structure sturdy we needed strong foundations and we had to make it in 3 layers. So, we learnt many lessons without realizing. Here’s the video of him explaining his Lego Pyramid.

Additionally, we enjoyed Egyptian food at home. I got all the recipes from Food.com except for Basbousa (I loved it).

Kabir tried to make the flag of Egypt with the pizza dough. It was impossible for us to make the eagle.

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Now, we were ready for our Egypt Party with our homeschool friends. We created the atmosphere by decorating the room with the welcome sign and a few posters.

We had a taste of Egypt for all who came to the party. The menu included: date candy, Roz Bel Laban, Basbousa, Ghorayebah (both my kids love these cookies), Gebna Makleyah, Mashy Crump (stuffed cabbage) and hibiscus drink.

There were five presentations. Kabir presented how we prepared Pharaoh Chickenkhamun for his afterlife. One of the boys concentrated on animals of Egypt. The other one focused on the city Memphis in Egypt. Another presentation was comparison of modern and ancient Egypt. The last presentation made us laugh as we were entertained to the book “Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble”. There were sisters who didn’t present but brought their Egypt related projects for us to marvel. Each one did a great job and all of us learnt from each other.

Here is the video of Kabir’s Egypt presentation, if you are interested. Now, we plan to study Brazil for a presentation in March.

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