Discovering the Egyptians
- Length of session 2 hours
- Cost £52
- The class should be divided into four groups before arrival, so that the children are ready to take part in a variety of small group activities
This session ties with the QCA scheme of work:
- History – Unit 10: What can we find out about ancient Egypt from what has survived?
- Art – Unit 1B: Investigating Materials
- Art – Unit 9: Visiting a Museum
- Pupils to gain an understanding of what has survived from Ancient Egypt and why
- Pupils to learn about some aspects of life in Ancient Egypt from close observation of surviving artefacts and other resources
- Pupils to investigate materials through examining objects that have been collected
- Pupils to gain an understanding about what a Museum is and why artefacts are collected and displayed
- Pupils to learn about the role of an archaeologist
Outline of session
- Introduction to the session and Willis Museum
- Hands-on activities in groups:
- Be an archaeologist and plan for a trip to Egypt
- Observe and record features of genuine Ancient Egyptian artefacts
- Look at materials that Ancient Egyptians used and learn what would survive
- Who’s Who? Work out some Ancient Egyptian characters from a collection of images, sounds and smells!
- Create a virtual museum display with objects from the session and labels written by the class and learn about why fake and replica objects are made
Pupils discuss what they have learnt through observation and activity participation.
You will be visiting the Willis Museum for 2 hours taking part in our session “Discovering the Egyptians”. You will be leading a small group of pupils as they try a range of activities in the museum; an Interpreter-Demonstrator will oversee the session and support you.
Introduction (15 minutes)
On arrival the Interpreter-Demonstrator will meet you and introduce you to the museum and give you a brief introduction to the activities you will be involved in.
Hands-on activities (80 minutes)
The class will then divide into 4 groups to try four, 20 minute activities, rotating after each activity. Instructions and information will be made available to you to assist the children.
Looking at objects
Pupils get the chance to examine some genuine Ancient Egyptian artefacts and record their observations as an archaeologist would. This session will be led by the ID
Preparing for Egypt
Imagining they are about to become a trainee Egyptologist, pupils are asked to decide what to take and what not to take on their trip to Egypt. There are no ‘right or wrong’ answers, but plenty of opportunity for debate!
Sound, smell and picture clues will be given about three people from Ancient Egypt. Can the group guess who each one is?
The group will be given some samples of modern materials that Ancient Egyptians would have used. They will examine their properties and work out which would survive and which would decay.
Should any of these activities be completed before the 20 minutes allowed, there will be an additional activity available on writing names using hieroglyphs – this can be done at any time.
Create a Display and Plenary (25 minutes)
As a whole class, the children will chose six objects to be displayed in their virtual museum and will have a go at writing informative and interesting labels for these objects. The session will end with an opportunity to share some of the learning from the day.
The session will take place in the gallery on the second floor of the museum, with access by two flights of stairs. A stair lift is available for anyone with mobility issues. The toilets are on the first floor and children must be accompanied.
- Ask the class to create a timeline back to when the Egyptians were around
- You may like to locate the Republic of Egypt in an atlas or on a globe and talk about aspects of modern Egypt, such as language and religion.
- Have a discussion around the following questions:
Where in the world is Egypt?
What objects do you think survive today from ancient Egypt?
What do you think an archaeologist does?
How are we similar to the ancient Egyptians? (think of 2 ways)
How are we different to the ancient Egyptians? (think of 2 ways)
Would you have liked to live in ancient Egypt? (say why or why not)
Do you think museums in Britain should return ancient Egyptian artefacts to Egypt?
Post visit activities
- You may like to continue looking at objects from ancient Egypt in the British Museum’s collection via the Explore section of the Museum’s website at www.britishmuseum.org
- Select an object studied in the workshop and discuss what particular aspects of life in the past it provides evidence for.
- Make a display using drawings of the artefacts seen during the workshop.