Saturday, December 15, 2012

Egyptian Book Project

Many of our classrooms are reading a series of four stories about Egypt, both fiction and nonfiction. The children are preparing illustrations that correspond with the artistic style of the illustrator in each of the texts. We buy multiple copies for projects like this so that many classrooms can participate simultaneously. I was even able to sneak in proper citation format!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teresa Davis Day 2!

Teresa Davis Day 2

Teresa started by asking what the students already knew!

People in Egypt today speak Arabic.

Greeting: (phonetically) “Salaam oo ah lay kum”
Response: “Oo ah lay kum salaam”

  • Body washed, and oiled and perfumed

  • Four main organs dried with salty ash called natron for 40 days:
    • lungs were put into a canopic jar (baboon)
    • liver (human)
    • intestines
    • stomach (jackal)
  • Brain was not important for the afterlife, so it was removed and discarded
  • Body washed and oiled again!
  • Body was stuffed with leaves or cloth to allow it to keep its shape.
  • Thirty days to wrap the body.
  • Each individual finger and toe wrapped... very particular and methodical.
  • Amulets included in the wrappings to ward off evil
  • Spells written on Papyrus to smooth the journey
  • Glue/resin sealed up the mummy.
  • One whole cloth covered whole mummy and tied with a rope.
  • A last piece of cloth was placed and the god Osiris was painted on the cloth. He was the god of the afterlife and it was his job to make sure they got there safely
  • Book of the Dead - (scrolled papyrus) sometimes wrapped with the mummy. Each book was different and written for the person who had died.
  • Mummy placed into a coffin
  • Then placed into another coffin... then into a sarcophagus.
  • It was decorated and painted

Pet Mummies
  • Funerals
  • Dancers, priests and mourners would travel from the East side of the country where people lived, to the West side of the country where the people who had died were buried.
  • The Opening of the Mouth ceremony - wanted to make sure that the person could taste and smell and see and hear in the afterlife.
    • The very last Pharaoh of Egypt was Cleopatra!
    • When pets died, they were made into mummies, too... cats, dogs, antelopes and even baboons were sent tot he afterlife with their owner.

    Egyptian Gods

    Aman Ra - sun
    Isis - magic (she used her magic to fly up to the sky)
    Cyrus - green skin, renewal and rebirth
    Set or Seth - made up animal: part anteater, part giraffe
    Anubis - jackal headed; god of the funeral; weighed the heart
    Thoth - water bird - wisdom, knowledge and writing

Monday, December 10, 2012

David Luce talked to us about Pyramids!

In Egypt, the pyramids had a square base pyramid with a pointed top.

    David built a scale model of a Pyramid in our the foyer!

    • 14 school houses tall
    • Mostly solid.
    • Tomb of the pyramid represents how powerful Pharaoh thought he was
    • stone was 50 miles down river
    • wheel had not been invented
    • we do not really know how the egyptians got the stones up the side of the pyramids!
    • took 23 years to build
    • 2.3 million blocks... needed to lay 3 stones an hour to get this completed.
    • not slaves, pharaoh fed them well.

  • 21 buses for the length of the base.

Sahara Desert... under which is rock! Good thing!

Notes from Teresa Davis' visit with the Third and Fourth Graders

5000 began years ago!!!
Ancient Egypt ended just 2000 years ago.
Powerful civilization for 3000 years


        • Ocean - Atlantic
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Nile runs north
  • Snow in the mountains
  • Nile floods, but it is welcome... it would leave behind rich black dirt for crops
  • The rest of Egypt is like a desert.
  • Lived in the east, tombs in the west
  • 9 million people live in Cairo
  • 130 pyramids on the west side of the Nile

Daily Life
  • Senate
  • Painted all the good things in their life and painted their tombs to take these good things with them in the afterlife
  • Only wealthy people went to school
  • Children had a lot of responsibility
  • Scribes went to school
  • Children became apprentices
  • Fathers taught sons trades and crafts.
  • Girls could learn at home, but could not go to school
  • There were some Pharaohs, doctors, leaders... but they learned this all at home
  • Almost no crime. If you did something bad, Egyptians believed your heart would be very heavy. Your heart was weighted against the feather of Maat... needed to be light!


  • bread
  • figs
  • pomegranates (magical)
  • honey (bee keepers)
  • lots of fish
  • small mammals
  • beef, goats, sheep
  • camels and chickens came later in the civilization
  • every day they ate hard, chewy, crunchy bread... most wore down their teeth (we learned this from the mummies)

Clothes, jewelry, makeup

  • light clothing... linen (flax plant)
  • bathed daily... liked to smell nice
  • little lumps of perfume were worn on the head during parties... to melt and scent.
  • everyone wore jewelry, but it was for protection (scarab to ward off evil)
  • beetles were considered lucky because the dung beetle is like Ra moving the sun. They also didn't understand the babies emerging from the dung ball-- magic!
  • most Egyptians shaved all their hair off, then wore wigs. They thought hair made you dirty (lice).


  • Cartouche had the name of the person on it.
  • there are hundreds of them.
  • had a way of drawing people... formula. The faces were always profile. The eye was head on, the top part of the body looking forward, the lower part in profile. All limbs hands and feet showing... because they thought these pictures would come to life in the afterlife and they wanted all their body parts!
  • Birds point in the direction the Hieroglyph should be read.

Every child was given a piece of papyrus and will create an Egyptian god to decorate our Sarcophagus.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Fair

This was the BEST Book Fair EVER! We earned over $1,000.00 for the library activities account and will have great fun finding new and interesting ways to use these proceeds. Thank you all for your support!


METIS was a Titaness of wisdom and deep thought and is the inspiration for the changes you are seeing in the library. Read more about the process here.


There are pages now for teachers with links for students researching tricky topics.

TBPS >for students >Library >Learning Links > Research...

Students and teachers, let me know if you need help researching specialized topics of interest. The internet is not a place we send students unattended :)