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Discover Ancient Egypt

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: English, 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 amulets and statuettes of gods. Students will be able to imagine the person who carefully made them and think about why they were so important to the ancient Egyptian people over 3000 years ago.  How have these artefacts survived for thousands of years? 

After an 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.
  • Mummification – what can be learned from an examination of a mummified cat and a mummy crocodile? How can archaeologists learn about them without damaging them by unwrapping them?
  • 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.

Using items from the museum’s handling collections; this session offers a unique learning experience that cannot be offered in the school classroom.

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

Please arrive on time for your workshop or we may not be able to run it for you. Please share these notes with your adult helpers before your visit. This will help them to support your pupils have a successful and enjoyable day.

This workshop can be linked with:

  • A hands-on workshop in the Clore Natural History Centre, World Museum - The natural history of ancient Egyptians (museum-led).
  • An interactive presentation in the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum (museum-led) - Meet the mummy
  • Free activity trails for you to use with your class will be available soon. 

Curriculum links

History

Understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world and the nature of ancient civilisations.

English

Pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They should learn to justify ideas with reasons.

Science

Develop an understanding of methods of scientific enquiry so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. 

Learning outcomes   

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history.
  • establish clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world; the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
  • understand how 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.
  • construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • begin to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and to give reasons for this.
  • use dates and historical vocabulary to describe the periods studied.
  • 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.