I thought about playing Steve Martin’s King Tut video for the class of little guys (oops, I mean, BIG 1st and 2nd graders) in our homeschool co-op Ancient History class, but I decided to leave that cultural experience to the parents.
And sure ‘nough (as they say here in the South), one student came in doing the Funky Tut dance announcing, “That guy was funny!”
Funky History Meets Modern Sensibilities
However we may feel about Misters Martin and Tut (I enjoy a good Funky Tut dance myself; and no, I’m not showing you the photo of me announcing Dress Like an Ancient Egyptian Day at co-op!), Ancient Egypt is beyond the grave enjoyable to teach because it is so funky compared to our modern lives.
I mean, who worships cats these days? No one would put statues of cats up around town and spend weekends bowing to the abilities of Jaguars, Panthers, or Bengals, would they?
And certainly, no one in the 21st century worships the sun during springtime festivals on the sand, do they?
And how could any with modern sensibilities, ever consider exalting a man to near-god status and expect him to fix all our problems? And control the Nile while he’s at it?
We are so far removed from ancient days, it’s uncanny. Or is it?
I do wish we would bring back the eyeliner, however. Unleaded, please.
How a Dresser Brought Pyramids to the (Co-op) World
My daughter needed a dresser, so we gave her great-grandma’s and I got my very first brand new dresser. And it came with pyramids! The corners were protected by perfect cardboard pyramids, so we made 3-D collages of Egyptian clip art.
Nefertiti and her hunky man, Amenhotep IV, along with King Tutenkhamen (Tut, to his friends) and Ramses II, known as Ramses the Great (Was his daddy known as Ramses the Not-so-Great?) graced the sides of the dresser-corner-protecting pyramids, while crocodiles swam in the Nile on a map of Egypt (or in an oasis spring that one student’s big brother would swim in because “he’s that tough.”)
Then we used The Kid’s Guide to Drawing Egypt and Its Symbols to learn how to draw palm trees for the oasis, using a four-fold strip of paper to make it stand vertically on the cardboard sand.
Other clip art (a scarab, for example) was added to round out the desert scene.
Crunchy Mummy Dries Out … But No Crisp in It’s Future
We also dug up a once-crunchy mummy. Yep, for real (sort of). The mummy had been in desiccant for a month. What would we discover? Would it be ooey? Gooey? Or dried out and shriveled? The little ones (uh, Big Ones) used excavation tools (desert spoons) to tap and dig the apple out from its solidified bed of salt and baking soda revealing this guy:
Teaching young ones is much about incorporating the five senses. In this case, taste was not one of them. We did that during the lesson about Jacob and Esau, with homemade lentil stew: “He traded his birthright for this???”
Yah, pretty much, although their mom might have had a better recipe.
Enjoying history one bite (or not!) at a time,
REALITY CHECK: Life unplugged warm turkey style is still (surprise!) pleasant and productive. My latest off-electronics projects have revolved around yarn. And along the same “skein” yesterday was official I LOVE YARN Day. Oh, and I do! I do!