The past few weeks the kids and I have been immersed the the world of pharoahs and pyramids. We've crafted, eaten, read and written our way through ancient Egypt history. And honestly, it's been a wonderful re-awakening to all that I love about homeschooling–real, hands-on learning together.
From making cartouches out of salt dough to eating authentic ancient Egyptian cuisine, we've been very impressed with the “tour” of ancient Egypt history we've received from Home School In the Woods' newest unit study-based curriculum Project Passport: Ancient Egypt.
An Awesome Way to Study Ancient Egypt History
Each study in the “Project Passport” series has 25 lessons (or what they call “stops”) where students study one history aspect of the period (everything from government and social class hierarchies to food, clothing and medicines of the time).
“Project Passport: Ancient Egypt” is chronologically the first in Home School In the Woods' Project Passport series. Other titles in the series include “Project Passport: The Middle Ages” and “Project Passport: Renaissance and Reformation,” with plans for “Project Passport: Ancient Greece” and “Project Passport: Ancient Rome” to be released in the next few years.
Each “stop” in “Project Passport: Ancient Egypt” offers read-aloud materials on that stop's topic, plus a large variety of craft activities, lapbooking materials, three-dimensional art and interactive worksheets.
For example, on Stop 4 we learned about ancient Egypt's class system (along with the types of jobs available) and so we created this awesome pyramid-shaped pop-up chart.
On the day we studied about the Egyptian language hieroglyphics, the kids did their own Rosetta Stone translation exercise by translating a specific segment of text from hieroglyphics to English to another language (my kids chose Pig Latin!).
They also made cartouches out of salt dough with their name in hieroglyphics.
Another day my kids were sent all over the house measuring the size of our TV, our van and even our cats in ancient Egyptian “cubits.”
The “Project Passport: Ancient Egypt” files contained a recipe book full of traditional dishes, so the kids and I had a very tasty adventure where we dined on wonderful fare such as Dukkah-Crusted Chicken, Cucumber Chickpea Salad and Baba Ghanoush. Our favorite dish, however, was an amazing honey-drenched semolina cake known as “Basbousa!” We will be making that dessert again!
We played “dress-up” one day when we colored and cut out the different aspects of Egyptian dress and placed them on figures.
And what would a study of Egypt be without the chance to make a sarcophogus, mummy and canopic jars! The kids had a great time designing those!
There are also several large ongoing activities (such as the newspaper, the lapbook, the timeline, the map, and the postcards) that are completed a little at a time throughout the study. These were awesome!
Several of the “stops” also contain an audio file where the “tour guide” shares more about the topics by taking you to a re-creation of what life was like in ancient Egypt, often interviewing actors pretending to be key figures in Egyptian life such as a schoolmaster or an embalmer. My kids loved listening to these, especially while they were adding new elements to their timeline or drawing pictures for their “Kemet Chronicle” newspaper.
And of course my daughter and I had a ball making an Egyptian princess' headdress (a “diadem”) and a fancy Egyptian collar (adored with felt “jewels”).
All of the projects are stored in the “Scrapbook of Sights” three-ring binder, which makes an excellent way to manage the activities.
Why I Love Studying Ancient Egypt History with Project Passport
There's lots to do!
I love that the study offers more than enough activities! We were literally able to pick and choose what was most interesting to us (and what we had time to practically complete during a given week). We didn't do everything in “Project Passport: Ancient Egypt”, and I believe that's one of the marks of a good curriculum because each family (or even each member in a given family) will find different aspects of a study interesting. Options are a great thing!
There's a general plan of activities to follow (the “Quick Stop Itinerary”), but the curriculum is designed to work with your family. It is suggested that families allocate between six to 12 weeks to complete “Project Passport: Ancient Egypt.” Our family did two “stops” a week in order to complete the curriculum in 12 weeks, and this fit our current homeschool rhythm perfectly.
Everything is in one place.
I loved that all the printables and activities were located in one place. I didn't have to search around for activities that taught about the different aspects of ancient Egyptian history–it was all organized and ready to go!
It fits most age groups.
Everyone from my preschooler to my 6th grader participated in the study. All of the kids would listen to me read-aloud while they completed their map or timeline work for the day. Although suggested age for the curriculum is third through eighth grade, my first-grade daughter did most of the hands-on projects (except for the newspaper), and I would always print extra copies of activity pages for my preschooler to color. And of course my older boys (fifth and sixth grade) did all the activities, including the newspaper.
It covers a variety of subjects.
It's wonderful to cover several school subjects while studying one topic! While I wouldn't classify the curriculum as covering the how-tos of specific school subjects (such as “how to write an essay”), these subjects are reinforced through several activities (for example, essay writing is reinforced with the numerous “Kemet Chronicle” newspaper stories written). The kids learn about Egyptian geography as they complete the map, and of course there's several hands-on traditional craft activities such as creating costumes, cooking and drawing.
Ancient Egypt history comes alive!
My kids love studying history like this and every day were so excited when we had out “Egypt time.” I loved that this was a wonderful pillar in our day where we could all come together and learn. It really did bring the study of ancient Egypt history alive!
Freebies, Giveaways and More!
When checking out, include IHOMESCHOOL NETWORK in the “Note to Seller” on the payment screen. Once the product is available in mid-June, you will receive a separate email with directions to download a free copy of the soon-to-be-released “Wonders of the World LapPak” ($22.95 value).
You can download a sample lesson; see photos and videos of the projects; and read the lesson scope and sequence plus other testimonials at the Project Passport: Ancient Egypt product page. Sign up for the Home School In the Woods newsletter on the upper right hand corner of the home page.