Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Ancient Egypt

Today we made jewellery for the Pharaohs. (Plasticine shapes, covered with foil and coloured with sharpies)

And we mummified a couple of dolls.

We mushed and discarded the brain, used Canopic jars for the intestines, lungs, liver and stomach.
We left the heart, just like the Egyptians would have done and then we salted and preserved the body.

We did laugh a little bit as we oiled and wrapped the body.

Completing the ritual with a death mask, jewels and food the body was ready for its pyramid burial.

We discussed the significance of the Scarab Beetle:
The scarab beetle is a real beetle, a common beetle. To the ancient Egyptians, this common beetle symbolized hope and the restoration of life. They used the design of a scarab beetle in many ways. 

Seals were created in the shape of a scarab and used to stamp documents. Artisans made scarab jewellery using precious gems and painted clay. The same design was used to make good luck charms and amulets to ward off evil. 
In ancient Egypt, scarab jewellery, good luck charms, and amulets were often given as gifts. An inscription was often added with the name of the owner and perhaps a motto or a message, like, "good luck in your new job". 
Scarabs came in many designs including winged scarabs. The colours were rich and beautiful. Blue symbolized the Nile River. Red symbolized Ra. There were touches of yellow for the desert and sun. Green was used to emphasis growth. 

Over time, the scarab became a sacred symbol.

The River Nile and its inhabitants (with tame hippos by the looks of it).

Ancient Egypt facts...

...and research.

Fresh January air.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Dinosaur Thematic Unit

The girls finished our dinosaur thematic unit with these imaginative plasticine dino scenes, complete with carnivorous gutting of fellow dinosaurs, carcasses, herbivore leaf munching and mini dinosaur eggs

These ones are the cutest dinosaurs I have ever seen.

Using worksheets to guestimate T-Rex steps...

...and measuring tape to work it all out in real life.

From Monkey Girl here to Ballet Girl way over there: that's how long a Diplodocus is! (26 metres)

Our completed and dried papier mache dinosaur eggs

Salt dough dinosaur fossils and track waves.

The two eldest each wrote a newspaper report on Jurassic Park.  Panda Girl used the lap-top to create a Dinosaur Adventure story.

Ballet Girl made these awesome fossils for The Boy to excavate...

Here he is with his most important of all Palaeontologist tools: the spoon.

Look at those delicious freckles.

He was delighted to finish his English workbook...

...and even more thrilled when Mummy booked him a squash court.