Fifth grade students concluded their eight-week study of Ancient Egypt last week by creating an Egyptian Museum at Ross Lower School. During their unit they touched on the geography, mythology, architecture, and various other aspects of Egyptian life and culture. Each student chose a subject that they were passionate about for a research project, and then spent several weeks creating a museum installation to present to parents, faculty, and schoolmates. The projects included both an essay and an exhibit, and the students dressed in costume for the exhibition, representing a chosen god or goddess.
Visitors to the museum learned about pyramids, clothing, tools, weapons, makeup, mummies, sports, tomb robbers, medicine, and metalworking. Students also spoke confidently about the gods and goddesses, including Imhotep, architect of the first known stone building, and Sobek, whose sweat is said to have created the Nile River. Other creative parts of the exhibits were papyrus drawings and canopic jars, replicas of the jars Egyptians used during the mummification process to store and preserve a person’s organs. Each jar lid depicted one of the four sons of Horus; the jackal was the most popular among the students.
Other museum highlights were the scale of justice that, according to myth, was used to weigh a person’s heart against a feather to determine if he or she would be permitted to enter the afterlife, and a variety of treats served up by several students. Refreshments included a macaroni dish called béchamel, pita and hummus, a hot vanilla drink, hibiscus tea, and a raspberry mint “Cairo cooler.”
Fifth grade teacher Sarah Ryan came dressed for the occasion as Cleopatra. “This is one of our most significant projects of the year, and I’m so proud of the students for their hard work and the variety and sophistication of the projects,” she said.