Magnolia Elementary School’s annual sixth grade Egyptian Museum project was put on display on Dec. 21. Approximately 90 sixth graders from Rachelle Savage’s, Shelley Rien’s, Gina Bijleveld’s and Steve Alban’s classes participated by exhibiting their “artifacts” at the museum. Three classrooms hosted the museum and Egyptian hostesses welcomed other classes that toured the exhibits.
“The students study Ancient Egypt for several weeks – taking extensive notes on the subject,” Savage explained. “After they are front-loaded with lots of information, they must decide what they would like to replicate from Ancient Egypt. This replica becomes their museum project.”
She added that the students must research the objects, complete a research paper, and then complete their “artifact” at home to be displayed at the museum.
During the museum, each of the sixth graders served as “tour guides” and talked to the younger student visitors about their artifact replica, its history, and even how they made it. The materials used for the artifact replicas were to be things that could be found around the house – which also ties into the students’ conservation unit for recycling.
Several students explained how they made their artifact replicas and why they chose to make certain artifacts. Jennifer Reeves made a pyramid tomb with a side that opened to reveal various levels, stairs, treasures, and even a decoy mummy to fool invaders from where the real mummy was placed. She said it took her about seven hours over the course of a few days to make it.
Ryan Kummer made an Egyptian board game called “Senet” because it was different and wasn’t on the list of suggested artifact projects. When he found out about the assignment he researched ancient Egyptian artifacts online and learned of the game. He explained that the object of the game is to get your pieces off the board before your opponent. There are also squares that are “protected” and so on.
Matt Geis chose to make a replica of King Tut’s famous burial mask.
“I picked the mask because I’ve always liked King Tut,” he said. “When I was building the mask I thought it was really fun to papier-maché it and paint it.”
He used cardboard, a plastic mask, a stick, the papier-maché, gold spray paint, and blue paint to make his masterpiece.
Kelsey Cadwell made a costume and dressed as a wealthy ancient Egyptian woman.
“I thought it’d be fun and I always wanted to learn to sew,” she said. “They didn’t talk in the book very much about what they wore, so I thought I could learn more if I made it.”
Cadwell reported that it took her about five days to make the costume, using a pattern. She served as a hostess at the classroom door and also spent time at her station inside the museum to talk about herself as an ancient Eyptian woman and her attire.
Billy Gonzalez made canopic jars, which were used to hold the organs of the mummified people for the afterlife, he explained. He made the jars by using clay, paper coffee cups, paper, sticks, and paint, but noted that the real ones were made of materials such as limestone, alabaster – types of calcite.
California State Standards met for the Egyptian Museum included: students analyze the interactions among various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link, despite time, between contemporary and ancient worlds.