Fun Friday – Pyramids at Sunset

Pyramids at Sunset, by C

Isn’t this cool?  It was a great “Fun Friday” activity to go with our Ancient Egypt unit. I found the project on Amy’s Early Bird Homeschool  blog via Pinterest  (and Amy got the idea from the Crayola website.). We followed Amy’s steps exactly:

1.  Paint the background using tempera paints – orange, yellow and brown for the sand (textured with a toothbrush) and blue, red and purple for the sky. I think the colours are supposed to be more separated than this – our pyramids are at nearly nighttime, I think!

2. Cut out pyramids, palm trees etc from card and paint with watercolours for a muted effect.

3. Stick them on when all the paint’s dry.

4. If you like, add a camel or two cut from black card (we found this the most challenging part – camels are very curvy! But if you get the hump in roughly the right place they’re at least fairly easily identifiable!)

 

I’m so appreciative when people lay out the steps like Amy did in her post.  Not being artistically experienced, I’m only just discovering the effects you get from different kinds of paint, like tempera, watercolour and acrylic. A year ago we only had kids’ washable paints, which still have their uses, but aren’t so good for painting [shoebox] Egyptian mummy coffins or [Model Magic] cartouches!  It never would have occurred to me to use two different types of paint in one picture.  I’ve also invested in some heavier weight paper – before that everything was sloshed onto copy paper.

It’s very exciting to think of all the other fun arty stuff we have yet to play with!

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Hieroglyphics

We got our Ancient Egypt unit off to a great start today.  This is our third week of the History Odyssey: Ancients (level 1) curriculum and I feel ready to start adapting it a bit to best meet our family’s interests and learning styles.

C and J love secret codes so we leapt straight into hieroglyphics (which fit nicely with the curriculum).  I pinned up a copy of the hieroglyph chart from Pepi and the Secret Names and without any prompting the children eagerly began writing their names on their whiteboards.  They carried on writing for about an hour – everyone’s names, messages to friends who are following the same history curriculum, and messages to each other.  J even wanted to play “consequences” in hieroglyphics! (I must admit I didn’t go with this one… we stuck to the English version!)

While they wrote, I read “The First Writing” chapter from The Story Of The World vol 1 and a section from Horrible Histories’ Awesome Egyptians.  I like the way Awesome Egyptians talks about how hieroglyphs were deliberately complicated so that those who were able to read and write them were more important, and how scribes were trained in temples, so that when the last temple was destroyed, the ability to understand hieroglyphics was lost for many hundreds of years.  This led nicely into finding out how the Rosetta Stone was the long-awaited key to cracking the secret hieroglyph code!

J enjoyed deciphering this message from Awesome Egyptians - he insisted on writing out the hieroglyphics before the English 🙂

"I love you mummy", by C 🙂

C and I finished up by watching the Ancient Egypt chapter of the DVD Time Life’s Lost Civilizations (from LoveFilm) – not the highest quality documentary in the world, but the visuals brought what we’d been learning about to life, and the commentary about early European plunderers fitted in nicely with our recent learnings about the key role archaeology plays in our understanding of history.

We’re looking forward to continuing our Egyptian unit soon.

My Library Thing

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