Just as we get into the really interesting stuff, it's time for a break. It's Labor Day week here in the ol' US of A, and I don't do four-day weeks. I find them unproductive. So instead, we just take the entire week off. Since we've been going hard for seven weeks, it's time. This first block is one of the longest continuous stretches of school we'll have all year.
Week 7 Topic: Egypt's Old Kingdom + mastabas, pyramids, mummies
Monday: Reading and notes. The kids picked two of the following choices: Story of the World chapters 2 and 4, Kingfisher Book of the Ancient World pages 28-31, Usborne World History Encyclopedia pages 114-117, or Life in Ancient Egypt pages 4-9, 20-22, and 26-27.
Tuesday: The kids finished their reading, and we noted any necessary revisions to their nine weeks' papers. They'll finish revising the paper and type them up in weeks 8 and 9, and hopefully I'll be allowed to post their work here. Doodlebug especially has surprised me - he decided to write his paper entirely from second-person perspective. It's an odd choice, but I think it works.
Wednesday: We filled in a map of Ancient Egypt, complete with the locations of pyramids, ancient cities along the Nile, and the general geography in and around Egypt like the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sahara.
Thursday: Definitions (hieroglyphics, pyramid, pharaoh, and papyrus - Doodlebug was fascinated with the method of making papyrus) and critical thinking questions: How did geography affect the lives of ancient Egyptians? What were some of the problems that Pharaoh may have faced? That second question is to get him thinking about the problems all rulers face, but he doesn't know that yet.
Friday: On Friday the kids played a game called Mummy Maker on the BBC Kids web site. Then they wanted to make their own cartouches. We discussed the function of a true cartouche, and then I told the kids that if they wanted to make their own, they had a choice. I could look up some close hieroglyphic representations of their names and they could make Egyptian cartouches or they could make their own indecipherable cartouches based on their interests and things that are important to them. Of course, being Generation 2.0 children, they wanted their own custom images. Doodlebug made his out of clay; Boo made hers from paper. Both are designed to be hung from strings like necklaces so they could, theoretically, wear their cartouches everywhere.
I have to say, you can see the differences between them just by looking at the images!
I also gave them options of making scented oil - basil, rosemary, garlic - or virtually touring the inside of the Great Pyramid. These are definitely other project/video options to consider.
Week 8 Topic (when we return): Phoenicians and "Sea People"