Newbridge Road sixth graders time traveled back to the days of pharaohs and pyramids last week. As part of a unit on Ancient Egypt, students learned the process of mummification and why and how the ancient Egyptians used it.
For those who need a reminder, mummification was used to preserve pharaohs for their ascent into the afterlife. What's a pharaoh? "A powerful Egyptian ruler!" the students shouted.
Students were asked to research a specific pharaoh and come in with a "trading card" of facts and stats on the chosen ruler. Students proceeded to share their findings, from King Tut to Cleopatra. Then, it was time for some real fun. Students paired up in front of a miniature sized skeleton and were given paper, glue and casting mix to wrap the mummy. Students explained the process on their class blog, "The first thing we needed to do was wet the cloth and mold it onto the skeleton quickly before it dried. Then we put our names on them and put them out in the hall." When the mummies dried, the classes made masks to cover the faces and attached their trading cards to their final projects. The mummy museum is on display in Mr. Bevilacqua's sixth grade classroom—the mastermind behind this lesson.
Students could have easily learned about the process from a textbook or worksheet, but rather they were given the chance to experience it themselves. This is certainly an innovative way to teach in the classroom.
This kind of hands on teaching is just what Mr. Bevilacqua enjoys.
"I believe hands on learning allows the children to put themselves in a certain situation to really grasp the concept," he said. "When I was a kid I loved making things, but not out of paper, with real items. I figure in aspects of crafting as much as I can. It's fun and much more meaningful."
When asked how they liked making mummies, the students unanimously said "they loved it" and that it was "so cool!"
Can you blame them?