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Discover Ancient Egypt

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: History, Science
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 30
  • Venue: World Museum

Summary

This hands-on workshop offers pupils a unique opportunity to touch real objects from the ancient world. Using their powers of deduction, pupils will become junior museum archaeologists to discover what the objects reveal about the people who lived in ancient Egypt. 

Further details

school children looking at a replica Egyptian figure

This hands-on workshop offers pupils a unique opportunity to touch real objects from the ancient world. Using their powers of deduction, pupils will become junior museum archaeologists to discover what the objects reveal about the people who lived in ancient Egypt.

During the workshop pupils will be able to touch artefacts such as canopic jars and imagine the person who carefully carved the jar from stone and how the jar was used over 3000 years ago.  Which god is represented on the jar, what does it tell us and how did the jar survive for thousands of year?  

After an initial introduction by a member of the museum staff, the group will be divided into four smaller groups to take on the role of archaeologists as they look at and handle the museum artefacts.  We will explain the correct handling techniques as they are being allowed to touch ancient objects from our collections not modern replicas.  

Four topics are looked at in this workshop:

  • Gods and their symbols - how to recognise some of the Egyptian gods.
  • Materials - what material the artefacts are made from and how they were used.
  • Canopic jars - four jars each linked to one of the four sons of the god Horus, to protect organs for the afterlife.
  • Egyptian writing - little pictures called hieroglyphs were used to write the sounds of their language.  A different ancient Egyptian writing, on a piece of mummy bandage, will be examined.

We need adult help to ensure the pupils have the best possible experience and to ensure the safety of the objects. For this reason you must bring at least one adult per eight children for this session.  

This workshop can be linked with:

  • A hands-on workshop in the Clore Natural History Centre ‘Reveal and unearth the natural  history of Ancient Egypt (museum-led).
  • Meet the mummy – an interactive presentation in the Treasure House Theatre (museum-led).
  • An activity trail looking at mummification, daily life, hieroglyphs and much more on the Egyptian gallery on level 3 (self-led).

Learning outcomes   

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • develop their chronological knowledge and understanding of world history.
  • establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • understand  characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Skills

Pupils will:

  • recognise and identify artefacts used in the sessions and some of the evidence they reveal about life in the past.
  • begin to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and to give reasons for this.
  • begin to recall, select and organise historical information.
  • use dates and historical vocabulary to describe the periods studied.
  • address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • give reasoned answers backed up by evidence.
  • improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.

Concepts

Pupils will:

  • be introduced to the work of an archaeologist.
  • be introduced to the work of curators and the reasons why the museum has a collection of objects from ancient Egypt.
  • appreciate that the objects they are working with are thousands of years old and have to be treated with respect.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Attitudes

Pupils will

  • appreciate that the objects they are working with are thousands of years old and have to be treated with respect.
  • see World Museum as a resource for historical research to help understand  the ancient world.