Recreating the Narmer Palette

We make a lot of time creating new things, because creation is important, but we also like to recreate things, or re-imagine existing and historical things. It is a lot of fun of course, but it also looks great in the home education reports I have to produce to be a registered homeschooler.

We have been working on a unit on Ancient Egypt. We’ve examined the geography, looking at the role of the Nile. WE made a list of questions we wanted to investigate and looked them up. We drew maps and examined posters.

We watched a documentary called “Planet Egypt“. The first episode is about the Narmer Palette and the unification of Egypt. The Narmer Palette is a pre-dynastic artifact, that means it was before the pharaohs.
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First we gathered our inspiration. We had a lot  of pictures of the Narmer Palette, so we set those out, then we got to work with the clay.
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Once they had finished with the Palette, they decided to get working on a King Narmer model.
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Have  you tried reecreations or historically inspired creations? What works for you?

Welcome to Ancient Egypt!

Starting new topics is so much fun! I love getting out new books, chasing up new resources, putting up new posters. Our next topic is Ancient Egypt, and today we started.

Our starting point was the chapter in The Story of the World: Book 1. That starts talking about Ancient Egypt, and talks about the Nile and the role the Nile played, as well as the story of Osiris.

We have a lovely posters from DK Eyewitness Expert about Ancient Egypt. (These have been very sadly discontinued 😦 ) up on the wall, and my personal collection of Egyptian-y books ready to go. Yes, I spent waaaay too much time as a teenager trying to teach myself hieroglyphs, so I have a reasonable collection.

We get lots of great ideas for the younger children from the Little City Kids website. My children really enjoy the hands-on activities they offer.

Today we wrote up a lot of questions we wanted to learn the answers to. I find this a good way of judging what the prior level of knowledge is, as well as learning what topics they find interesting. Judging from our list, we have the usual morbid fascination with mummies, but also an interest in the daily life of the ordinary people.

Looking forward to a couple of outings: of course to the SA Museum’s Ancient Egypt collection, but also to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens looking at the plants of Ancient Egypt.

One of the best things is not know where exactly we will end up, Not knowing what fun rabbit trails we will follow. Will they want to learn about counting systems they used? Build something? Make models? Who knows!

Arrr Me Hearties!

Today was spent making Pirate Treasure. Last week’s pirate day had resulted in treasure chests, but where was the loot? We needed to design some!

First we looked online at pictures of old coins to get lots of ideas. Then we shaped airdrying clay into small disks, then made patterns on them. They are currently drying.

A small selection of our pirate loot.

A small selection of our pirate loot.

The children really enjoyed this, but we ran into a few problems. First was that my youngest child had a lot of trouble telling the difference between air drying clay and play dough. He really wanted to just keep reshaping his brother’s work. Everyday homeschool life, I think!

The second was a rookie mistake, and I was embarrassed to make it! I didn’t get the children to plan out their designs more fully before working with the air drying clay. Air drying clay has a very low tolerance for reworking, and it started to dry out a little the little hands changed the pattern a few times. If you try this at home, I would encourage children to draw a few designs first, to try to minimise the clay drying out.

Still, the children enjoyed it.

As soon as they are dry we will paint them in gold and silver paint, and then they will be ready for burying! And finding! And… what else did pirates do with coins anyway?