Ancient Egyptians

A day out at The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry's exhibition, "Secret Egypt" stirred the boys' interest in The Ancient Egyptians. I am always intrigued by how knowledge is integrated, and by how able the boys are to apply knowledge acquired in one area to something else. This is something the subject divisions, now evident even in primary schools, do not encourage.

As part of this topic work, we looked at hieroglyphics, and the boys created their own cartouches, and coded messages. We read about the gods and goddesses of the period, and one son drew his favourite, the other created his own. We learned about the archaeological history and geography of Egypt, the flood plain of the Nile and the Aswan dam. When our eldest son was a bbay, we visited Egypt and have pictures of him on a felucca sailing down the Nile. This fitted in well with a book we have from Barefoot, "We're Sailing Down the Nile". Barefoot Books always contain readable reference material which is useful. Conveniently, there is a television programme on Egypt's Lost Cities which will tie in nicely as well.

Most fascinating to my eldest son was the idea of mummification. Having persuaded him that mummifying one of his brother's guinea pigs was not a suitable project, we decided to make death masks based on the famous image of Tutankhamen, the boy king, using plaster bandage. We made a cast of their faces and then they sculpted the rest of the mask using newspaper and bandage. It is great to use different media and explore their potential. My eldest son is particularly interested in sculpture and design.