Life in Ancient Egypt



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Life in Ancient Egypt

Teachers’ Pack









http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/petrie/carouselimages/museums_at_night


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For a meaningful visit at

The Petrie Museum of Archaeology


Table of contents


  • Page 3: Purpose of this Pack

  • Page 3: Things to think About When Studying Ancient Egypt

  • Page 5: How can this pack support your Scheme of Work?

  • Page 8: Visitor Information

    • How to book a visit

    • How to get to Petrie

  • Page 10: Gordon Square Directions

  • Page 11: What is UCL and UCL Outreach?

  • Page 12: UCL Outreach/ Aim Higher

  • Page 13: What is special about the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology?

  • Page 14: William Flinders Petrie: Who Was He?

  • Page 15: Why is a preliminary visit important?

  • Page 16: Timing the visit right

  • Page 17: Setting Objectives for the Visit

  • Page 18: Preparing Pupils before a Visit

  • Page 19: Pre-visit Sheets

  • Page 20: During the Visit and Rules

  • Page 20: Help us Help You

  • Page 21: How to Examine the Objects

  • Page 22: Timeline

  • Page 23: How to read Roman Numerals

  • Page 24: Museum Floor Plan

  • Page 26: Facts and misunderstandings about Egypt

  • Page 27: Work Sheets

    • My Favourite Object

    • Preparing a Tomb

    • Comparing Ancient Egypt to Today

  • Page 31: Meaningful Ways to Follow-up the visit

  • Page 32: Additional Work Sheets:

    • Coins

    • Gods

    • Narmer Palette

  • Page 36: Useful Resources

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What is the purpose of this Pack?

This Pack has been designed to support both primary and secondary school teachers in planning a visit to UCL’s Petrie Museum.


The pack has been developed with 4 key objectives in mind:

  1. To promote an investigative approach that encourages pupils to observe, think, make choices and draw their own conclusions. The Petrie Museum is a university museum and supports UCL’s Widening Participation Mission to raise young people’s aspirations towards Higher Education. Through activities outlined in this pack, we hope to give youngsters a taster of university style learning




  1. To promote learning about Egypt and to offer new perspectives on daily life in ancient Egypt. The Petrie Museum specialises in objects about daily life. So for this reason we have included very little about ‘Death’ in ancient Egypt. We want to extend learning beyond the ‘popular’ themes of mummies, Tutankhamun and pyramids




  1. To offer activities that support a range of learning styles, including note-taking, drawing, role play, debate, independent and group work




  1. To place the visit in context and maximise learning by encouraging appropriate pre-visit work and meaningful follow up activities


Things to think About When Studying Ancient Egypt


  1. Egypt is in Africa.

It may seem obvious but it is amazing how many people do not realise that Egypt is in Africa. Any study of Egypt begins with its geography. Egypt is located in Northeast Africa, with access to both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.


Today, Egypt is a modern, thriving country with a unique and vibrant culture. Egyptian culture did not die out with the collapse of the pharaohs and the arrival of the Romans. Modern Egyptians speak and write Arabic. The main religion in Egypt today is Islam. Even though modern Egypt is Islamic, many other faiths co-exist happily (like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.). Modern Egypt is a country with a culture and history very much alive.


  1. Ancient Egyptian Civilization changed enormously over time. Throughout its history there were many different cultures that made up what we call Ancient Egyptian Civilization.

Egyptians who lived during the reign of Tutankhamun were as far away in time from the Egyptians who built the pyramids as we are to the Vikings or William the Conqueror! Perhaps Tutankhamun’s subjects would have found the pyramid age as unfamiliar as we do! It is important to remember that things which we often group as belonging to “Ancient Egypt” may have been produced hundreds or even thousands of years apart and do not represent a single culture.





  1. We cannot be sure what the Ancient Egyptians looked like but we can assume that they had black or brown skin.

When we talk about “Ancient Egyptians” we are talking about a wide range of people over a reproduced countless images of themselves on wall paintings, inscriptions, in sculpture, etc, they followed a changing but strict visual code for portraying themselves at the peak of health and beauty. Paintings and sculpture do not necessarily represent reality and should therefore not be taken too literally.


There is tremendous debate about the race of the ‘ancient Egyptians’. There are 3 main (mutually exclusive) views:


  • The modern Egyptian view is that the ancient Egyptians are the same group of people as the modern Egyptians

  • The Afrocentric view is that the ancient Egyptians were black Africans, displaced by later movements of peoples, for example the Macedonian, Roman and Arab conquests

  • The Eurocentric view is that the ancient Egyptians are ancestral to modern Europe

Although the debate on race continues, this was probably not an issue for the ancient Egyptians themselves. We know that they were NOT white and that there was an enduring black presence in Egyptian culture. Evidence of the earliest Egyptian civilization was found in Upper Egypt (near the Sudan) and was therefore more likely to have been black. At various times black people ruled Egypt, such as the Nubian pharaohs of the 7th and 8th centuries BCE. In later periods of Ancient Egyptian history (when Egypt was Christian), black saints like St. Menas were revered.




  1. It is hard to agree on dates for the start and finish of “Ancient Egypt.”

The year 3100BCE is one date traditionally used to mark ancient Egypt’s beginning. This was when Upper and Lower Egypt were united as a single kingdom by the first recorded Pharaoh of Egypt, Narmer. The end of ancient Egypt is set sometimes at the death of Cleopatra in 30 BCE, when Egypt became part of the Roman Empire; or in the early 4th Century CE, when Egypt became widely Christianised.




  1. Many of the powerful images we have of Ancient Egypt come from fictional sources like books, Hollywood films, and advertising. These images stop us from appreciating the reality of life in Ancient Egypt.

Archaeology has played a part in shaping these images. Archaeology deals with physical evidence from the past, which can be used to challenge assumptions and raise questions about images we get from fictional sources. It is important that we encourage young people to look beyond the stereotypes and to draw their own conclusions from the objects they can see face to face at the Petrie Museum.




How can this pack support your Scheme of Work?

By: C. Krömer and N. Parkinson


This resource has been designed with the aim of enhancing school learning for pupils in KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, and post 16. Ancient Egypt makes up an important part of the history curriculum for KS1 and KS2. Although particularly relevant to Key Stage 2 History, the Petrie Museum can also be used to support Art and Design at all Key Stages. The Petrie Museum can also be used to offer a range of curriculum enrichment opportunities for gifted and talented pupils or those with a particular interest in Egypt, Africa, History or Archaeology.


  • National Curriculum specification for Key Stage 2 History


Programme of Study for History Study Unit: A World History Study of a Past Society: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Sumer, the Assyrian Empire, the Indus Valley, the Maya, Benin, or the Aztecs

A study of the key features, including everyday lives of men, women and children



Key Features: the society in relation to other contemporary societies; chronology; the reasons for the rise and fall of the civilization; significant places and individuals; distinctive contribution to history

Aspects of everyday life: houses and cities; arts and architecture; technology, work and leisure; food, health and medicine; pictures, words and communication; rulers and ruled; beliefs, customs and legends, gods and goddesses; temples and tombs; wealth and economy; transport and exploration; wars and warfare


  • QCA Scheme of Work for History Years 3-4


Unit 10: What can we find out about the ancient Egyptians from what has survived?

This scheme of work encourages pupils to make ‘simple observations, inferences and deductions’ from ‘sources of information’, especially ‘archaeological discoveries’.

The following key questions outlined in the scheme of work can all be supported with a visit to the Petrie Museum:


  • What can we learn about Ancient Egypt from one object?

  • What objects survive from the time of the ancient Egyptians?

  • What do objects that have survived tell us about ancient Egypt?

  • What did the ancient Egyptians believe about life after death?

The Petrie Museum can play an important part in enhancing pupil’s knowledge of Ancient Egypt. Throughout this resource are a variety of activity sheets, museum trails, and general information on Ancient Egypt and the artefacts at the Petrie Museum. For your convenience here are some recommendations on how to use this resource for each Key Stage:


KS1: Make use of the information sheets for content. Use the “Pre-Visit” sheets to help your pupils become familiar with the museum. Use the “Museum Trail” and “Self Tour” sheets to help plan out your visit to the museum. Use (and adapt if needed) the “After-Visit” activities to help with discussion and learning back at school.
KS2: Make use of the information sheets for content. Use the “Pre-Visit” sheets to help your pupils become familiar with the museum. Use the “Museum Trail” and “Self Tour” sheets to help plan out your visit to the museum. Use (and adapt if needed) the “After-Visit” activities to help with discussion and learning back at school.
KS3: Make use of the information sheets for content. Use the “Pre-Visit” sheets to help your pupils become familiar with the museum. It would be useful to give your class the “Self-Tour” sheets so they can guide themselves around the museum. Have your pupils’ complete Pre-Visit activities before coming to the museum. Make sure to follow up the museum visit with the “After-Visit” activities back at school.
KS4: Make use of the information sheets for content. Use the “Pre-Visit” sheets to help your pupils become familiar with the museum. Give your class the “Self-Tour” sheets so they can guide themselves around the museum (many self-tour sheets are based off of existing museum trails- pick the most relevant one for your class). Have your pupils’ complete Pre-Visit activities before coming to the museum. Make sure to follow up the museum visit with After Visit activities back at school. It is encouraged to give KS4 and above pupils’ relative freedom around the museum: plan your visit so independent learning and enquiry skills are utilized.
Post 16: Make use of the information sheets for content. Use the “Pre-Visit” sheets to help your pupils become familiar with the museum. Plan your visit around independent learning and research: it is essential that students use the “Self-Tour” sheets. Have your pupils’ complete Pre-Visit activities before coming to the museum. Make sure to follow up the museum visit with After Visit activities back at school.
Throughout this resource are sheets designed for each Key stage. Use these sheets to enhance your visit to the museum and encourage further learning.
It is important to keep in mind that the emphasis on your visit should be “learn by doing.” The activities you give pupils to do during the visit will determine what and how effectively they learn.
It is important therefore to match activities to objectives.

You could think about setting objectives in 3 areas:




  • Improving pupils’ knowledge and understanding

E.g. of archaeology, of life in ancient Egypt, of learning how to use museums or of what university is, etc


  • Developing pupils’ key/transferable skills

E.g. team-work, problem solving, learning how to look at objects, literacy, making deductions, communication, etc.


  • Encouraging pupil’s personal development

E.g. increasing personal motivation and confidence, changing pupils’ views about museums or about history, encouraging them to take their learning further by visiting other museums or bringing their families, etc.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/petrie/carouselimages/canopic_jars

Visitor Information

By: C. Krömer



How to book your visit
Contact details:
Head of Visitor Service: Tracey Golding
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London, Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT
Tel: 020 7679 2884

Email: t.golding@ucl.ac.uk

Website: www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk
Call to discuss dates. School visits usually take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10am-12am. During your visit you have exclusive use of the museum.

How to get to The Petrie
Public Transport:
Train station – Euston
Underground stations - Euston, Euston Square, Warren Street, Russell Square, Goodge Street
Buses – 10, 18, 30, 73, 205, 390, N5, N20, N73, N205, N253 on Euston Square Station; 10, 14, 24, 29, 73,134, 390, N5, N20, N29, N73, N253, N279 on Gower Street
Transportation Links:

National Rail Enquiries: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Transport for London (includes bus and London Underground routes): http://www.tfl.gov.uk/

London Underground Map: https://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/large-print-tube-map.pdf


Transport by Car:

There is no parking at the Petrie Museum and there is very little parking in the surrounding area. Travelling by car is not recommended.


Lunch:
Since we do not have a lunchroom, you are also advised to find in advance a suitable place for lunch. Weather permitting there are a number of squares with gardens close-by to the Museum.

Note on planning a preliminary visit:
While optional, it is strongly encouraged to set aside time to take a preliminary visit to the museum. The benefits of planning a preliminary visit are numerous:


  • You will have a better understanding of the museum’s location: it is within the UCL campus, which is large and often complex in its layout. A preliminary visit will help you figure out the layout of UCL and the route to the museum so you can have more time in the museum and less time trying to find it!

  • The Petrie Museum does not have a lunchroom. A preliminary visit will help with finding a suitable lunch spot.

  • The Petrie Museum does not have easily accessible toilets - they are found outside the museum on the UCL campus. A preliminary visit will help you find the quickest route to the toilets!

  • You will have a better understanding of the museum objects and layout. This is key in making sure your visit corresponds to the curriculum.

  • Make sure to check out the activities offered in this resource. Having knowledge of all the activities, plans and ideas will help in picking the right resources for your class.


Combining Your Visit:
You can combine your visit to the Petrie with a visit to the British Museum (http://www.britishmuseum.org/) or the Wellcome Collection (http://wellcomecollection.org/) which are located nearby. Additionally there are three other museums at UCL and all are open to the public and to pre-arranged school groups. To find out more check out http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/.

Maps:
Below is a map of places to grab lunch and the basic floor plan of the Petrie Museum. In case of poor weather, there is an alternative seating area in the Cloisters. However, we cannot guarantee the space will be available.
Lunch Mapmap of where the museum is

How to get to Gordon Square (for lunch) from Petrie:
Through campus:

Start: Malet Place



  1. After 22 metres you will come to an Underpass

  2. After 12 metres you will come to a yard and then go straight into Medawar-Building – West Entrance.

  3. Once you enter building, go through the door

  4. Immediately turn left

  5. After 9 metres turn right

  6. After 16 metres turn left into Medawar through corridor

  7. After 12 metres, turn right into the path between buildings

  8. After 10 metres, follow the path round to the left

  9. After 42 metres, follow the path to the right.

Destination: Gordon Square

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What is UCL and UCL Outreach?

The Petrie Museum is part of University College London and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce pupils to the concepts of Higher Education and university.



UCL is one of the three oldest universities in England, being founded over 175 years ago. Established to admit students no matter what their race, religion or class, it was also the first to admit women students. It pioneered university-based teaching of English literature, modern languages, geography, law, medicine and engineering. UCL’s former academics helped to form the modern world; among their breakthroughs were the identification of hormones and vitamins, the discovery of the inert gases, including neon, and the invention of the thermionic valve, which made radio and modern electronics possible.

Today UCL has a student population of 25,000 students following one of the widest range of degree programmes, from Fine art to Medicine, from Russian to Chemical engineering and from Archaeology to Law. Students come from all over the United Kingdom and from 144 countries to study at UCL.

UCL, based in central London, is now recognised as one of the top universities in Britain for teaching and research and has a worldwide reputation for excellence.

Some of the subjects our students study here are: Anatomy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Astronomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Classics, Computer Science, Dutch, Earth Sciences, East European Languages, English, Fine Art, French, Genetics, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, History, Human Sciences, Law, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacology, Physics, Project Management for Construction, Russian, Spanish and Latin American Studies, Speech Sciences, Urban Planning Design.

Alongside the Petrie Museum, there are 3 other museums at UCL and all are open to the public and to pre-arranged school groups. To find out more check out http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums : https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/

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UCL Outreach/ Aim Higher

UCL recognises that some people don't get the same chance as others to go to University. Due to too little information or too few resources, there are students who are missing out. Through outreach activities and by providing information on what university is all about, we plan to change that, to widen the participation of students from different backgrounds at UCL.s:\collections_common\petrie\petrie_common\2015 anniversary book\chapters\introduction draft\figure 16.jpg

Pupils can check out the website www.ucl.ac.uk/wp to find out more about going to university, although currently the site is aimed at young people aged 16 years and over. The site covers ‘Why go to University?’ and gives pupils the chance to email questions to current UCL students as well as offering general careers advice, interview tips and guidance on how to find out more about Higher Education.

A visit to the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is one way teachers can help in raising the aspirations of their pupils. At UCL we are working towards widening access to all our museums and collections by arranging group visits, by developing Loan Boxes of objects for schools to borrow free of charge and by running Outreach Sessions in schools on various topics. These sessions are tailor-made and aim to enrich and support the curriculum at both Primary and Secondary level.


What is special about the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology?

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology has one of the most important collections of ancient Egyptian objects in the world.


Flinders Petrie (1853 –1942) spent over fifty years excavating material in Egypt and is thought to have discovered well over a million objects during the course of his archaeological career.
The museum contains about 80,000 objects and these objects represent the development of daily life in and around the Nile Valley. One of the priorities for Petrie in putting together this collection and then donating it to University College London was that it should be used for teaching and research and this informs some of the object types found in the museum. There are plenty of objects to reinforce the ancient Egyptian stereotypes such as mummy cases and death masks. But there are also rich examples of objects illustrating daily life, from earrings and hair curlers to wooden mallets and weights and measures.
The age range of objects spans from the very earliest times of settlement in the Nile Valley (6,000 years ago) to the Greek, Roman and Arabic influences on Egypt (1,800 years ago up to the present day).

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Highlights of the Collection include:



  • examples of the earliest linen clothing in the world (over 5,000 years old)




  • a Bead Net dress, one of only two in the world and made entirely of faience beads (a kind of glazed plaster)




  • the world’s largest collection of Roman mummy portraits




  • objects from the glamour period of Egypt’s history, the New Kingdom, and the site of Amarna, the city of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti and where his son Tutankhamun would have spent his early years


William Flinders Petrie: Who Was He?


The Petrie Museum is named after Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie. He was born on the 3rd of June, 1853 in Kent. Petrie died in Jerusalem in 1942 at the age of 89. His parents did not think he was well enough to go to school and so they taught him at home. Petrie often visited the British Museum in London because he liked the coins and Egyptian collections. Petrie’s interest in studying Ancient Egypt came from his father, who was a surveyor and encouraged Petrie to take measurements of ancient sites.


Petrie was an archaeologist. He excavated many sites in Egypt, the Sudan, and Palestine. He became the first professor of Egyptology in England in 1892. He collected objects from his many excavations and eventually sold his collection to UCL (University College London, where the Petrie Museum is located) in 1913. Most archaeologists before Petrie had only been interested in large monuments and treasures from Egypt, but Petrie liked small objects because they showed how ancient Egyptians lived.
Over a period of about 50 years Petrie excavated more than thirty sites in Egypt. The first time Petrie came to Egypt was during the 1880s to take measurements of the Great Pyramid at Giza. By 1926 Petrie was excavating outside of Egypt in Palestine and his excavations would continue until the late 1930s.
During his lifetime Petrie collected a huge variety of artefacts (objects). Some artefacts interested him because they showed him how Ancient Egyptians lived. Other artefacts baffled him! Petrie hoped that by bringing them back to England, he could study them thoroughly and improve his and other’s understanding of ancient Egypt. Petrie was allowed to bring artefacts back due to the generosity of the Egyptian government, and each year Petrie made sure to bring back some of the things he found. These objects were put on display at UCL and the museums that helped to pay for the excavations that Petrie was a part of. The most important objects stayed in Egypt. UCL bought the objects from Petrie in 1913 – these objects formed the beginning of what we know today as the Petrie Museum!
Petrie not only gave the objects he found to UCL – he worked there as well. In 1892, Petrie became the first professor of Egyptology (the study of Egypt) in England, at UCL. Petrie also started a society called the Egyptian Research Account, to pay for excavations and writings about Egypt. Petrie did not only take objects and artefacts away from Egypt. Petrie dedicated himself to making sure the public knew about Ancient Egyptian culture and the need for conserving what artefacts had been found by archaeologists.

Why is a preliminary visit important?

  • It is important that you plan a preliminary visit to the Petrie Museum prior to your actual visit. Any booking you make is provisional and will not be confirmed until you have made a preliminary visit




  • As the Petrie Museum is located within a large university it is important that you are familiar with its location when you visit with your group




  • Since we do not have a lunchroom, you are also advised to find in advance a suitable place for lunch. Weather permitting there are a number of squares with gardens close-by to the Museum.




  • Research has shown that the attitude and motivation of pupils on a school visit is influenced by the teacher’s confidence. It is hard to appear confident in an unfamiliar environments:\collections_common\petrie\petrie_common\images\museum events and public\misc public\children visiting museum (2).jpg




  • Your familiarity with the museum, important exhibits and the location of key facilities, such as toilets, will ensure the visit runs smoothly




  • The toilets on site are not accommodating for an entire class and adults must be with them. A pre-visit will allow you to be prepared and know where to take your class to go as a group.




  • You are responsible for managing pupils’ work in the museum. A crucial aspect of a successful visit is meaningful tasks supported by appropriate resources. You should check the activities you should select from the pack are appropriate for your class.

Timing the visit right

By: C. Krömer and N. Parkinson


Taking a trip to the Petrie Museum can be an excellent way to enhance and solidify your pupil’s knowledge of Ancient Egypt. It is important to figure out what time during the study unit to visit the Petrie. What time would a visit most help your class: at the beginning, middle, or end of a study unit? The bullet points below offer some advantages for making a trip to the museum at any stage in your study unit.

At the beginning of the History Study Unit (HSU):

  1. To engage and inspire pupils’ interest in the topic

  2. To introduce the importance of archaeology and material evidence in our understanding of how the ancient Egyptians lived

  3. To challenge at the outset the stereotypical views pupils may have of the ancient Egyptians

  4. To encourage pupils to think in an original way about ancient Egypt



In the middle of the HSU:

  1. To reinforce the knowledge and understanding pupils have acquired so far

  2. To refresh and maintain pupils’ interest in the topic

  3. To encourage pupils to ask questions about what they do not know and want to find out

  4. To gain new knowledge and understanding and build on this back in the classroom



At the end of the HSU:

  1. To reinforce and extend pupils’ knowledge and understanding

  2. To provide an opportunity to assess what pupils have learned – this could be informal or formal.

  3. To reward pupils for completing the unit

  4. To let them look critically at the material evidence that informs our understanding of ancient Egypt. “Can we really be sure this is what the Ancient Egyptians believed or how they lived or is it merely guess work based on the evidence available?”

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Setting Objectives for the Visit

It is important to set some clear objectives for the visit to ensure it is meaningful. Try to think broadly in terms of how your pupils can benefit from the visit.


The definition of ‘Learning’ below offers a broad and useful perspective on learning:

Learning is a process of active engagement with experience. It is what people do to make sense of the world. It may involve an increase in skills, knowledge or understanding, a deepening of values or the capacity to reflect and appreciate. Effective learning leads to change, development and the desire to learn more.”



DfEE, The Campaign for Learning 2000
The emphasis above is on ‘learning’ through ‘doing’. The activities you give pupils to do during the visit will determine what and how effectively they learn.

It is important therefore to match activities to objectives.

You could think about setting objectives in 3 areas:


  • Improving pupils’ knowledge and understanding

e.g. of archaeology, of life in ancient Egypt, of learning how to use museums or of what university is, etc


  • Developing pupils’ key/transferable skills

e.g. team-work, problem solving, learning how to look at objects, literacy, making deductions, communication, etc

  • Encouraging pupil’s personal development

e.g. increasing personal motivation and confidence, changing pupils’ views about museums or about history, encouraging them to take their learning further by visiting other museums or bringing their families, etc.

The Petrie Museum is also ideally placed to help support a range of quite specific learning objectives:



  • Learning how to use museums

  • Learning about universities

  • Thinking differently about Egypt and Africa

  • Developing a view on ethical and political issues

To find out more about these please look at the section entitled ‘Activities to maximise Learning during the Visit’.



Preparing Pupils before a Visit

To make any visit meaningful it is vital that pupils are prepared for the visit.

Ideally this means telling them the purpose of the visit, sharing in advance the tasks they will be doing during the visit and informing them of any relevant follow up work they will be doing back in school after the visit.

It is advisable to spend one lesson a day or two before the visit on briefing the pupils and engaging them in a preparatory task that will motivate them and provide some context for the visit.


Some practical suggestions

1. Engaging Pupils with challenging questions

Ask pupils 4/5 key questions in class which will inspire interest and generate thought and discussion. Pupils should write down their responses and could then discuss them in class.

You could ask the same questions in the first lesson after the visit to see what has been learned/ how perceptions have changed.

Questions might include:



  • Where in the world is Egypt?

  • What objects do you think survive today from ancient Egypt?

  • What do you think an archaeologist does?

  • How are we similar to the ancient Egyptians? (think of 2 ways)

  • How are we different to the ancient Egyptians? (think of 2 ways)

  • Would you have liked to live in ancient Egypt? (say why or why not)

  • Do you think it is right for museums to display human remains?

  • Do you think museums in Britain should return ancient Egyptian artefacts to Egypt?


2. Investigating the Museum on-line

Using the Petrie Museum’s On-line Catalogue, pupils can browse the collection in advance via the web. They can create their own virtual gallery or find objects that interest them.

To view the catalogue, go to www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk and click on ‘Online Catalogue’ and search. See Resource Sheet 1.

3. Thinking up questions

Pupils think up 3 questions each about life in ancient Egypt that they would like to find answers for in the Museum

e.g. What toys did children play with? What did people wear? What did Egyptian homes look like? What weapons and tools did they use? How were the royal palaces decorated? What gods and goddesses did they worship?
4. Researching in teams
Divide pupils into small teams (3-4). Give each team a question to research before the visit

e.g. What did people wear? What were ancient Egyptian homes like? What weapons and tools did they use? What gods and goddesses did they worship? What jobs did they do? How did they travel around the country? How did they treat the dead? What did they do in their spare time?


See ‘Useful Resources’ section for suggested books and websites.

Pupils could continue their research in the Petrie Museum, perhaps with a view towards giving a group presentation or creating a display of their main findings back in the classroom.



5. Finding out about Flinders

Pupils could find out about Flinders Petrie. There are good websites with biographical material including the Petrie Museum’s own site www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk (see the ‘Learning’ tab for other suggestions).



6. Making Maps

Pupils could draw their own map of Egypt and mark on it the following places: Abydos, Amarna, Bubastis, Cairo, Giza, Hawara, Karnak, Luxor, Meydum, Saqqarah, Tarkhan and Thebes.

These are all places in Egypt where Petrie excavated. Pupils can bring their map to the Museum and use it to locate where particular objects were found.

7. Learning to look at Objects

Learning to look at objects for information is a very important skill. You can prepare pupils to look at objects in the Museum and help them develop their visual literacy by using everyday objects in the classroom before the visit e.g. a pencil, a flower pot, a school bag, an exercise book, a lunch box, a football.

Use the Object Investigation prompt sheet (Resource Sheet 2) to get pupils talking in small groups about their object. Remind them to disregard prior knowledge about the object and use only the clues they can find in/on the object itself. This may mean that there are some questions they cannot answer.

After small group discussion, you could rotate the objects and get pupils to complete an Object Form (Resource Sheet 3) on one object. The same forms can also be used in the Petrie Museum itself during the actual visit.



8. Egypt Today

Pupils could find out about modern Egypt. What are the people like? What language do people speak? What religion(s) do they follow? How do they live?



9. Identifying Stereotypes

Read out the following statements one by one to the whole class. After each statement, give pupils a chance to call out ‘True’ or ‘False’. This will allow you to see what they already know but also will help to challenge their assumptions and stereotypes about ancient and modern Egypt.


To find out more about the objects in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

  1. Go to: www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk

  2. Click on the screen to enter site

  3. Click ‘Online Catalogue

Click ‘Search’

  1. Find ‘Object Category’:

  2. Enter one type of object:

    1. E.g. axes, canopic jars, coins, cosmetics, coffins, daggers, lamps, hand mirror, human remains, pot, mummy bandages, mummy cases, sandals, writing equipment

  3. Click ‘search terms’ if you want more ideas for different types of objects

  4. Then click ‘Search Now

  5. A group of objects will appear on your screen. You can choose one of these or keep looking using the page numbers given at the bottom of the screen

  6. Once you have chosen an object you like, click on it

  7. A larger picture of the object will come up on your screen together with information about it.

http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/files/2015/10/figures-9.jpg
Pre-Visit Sheet: Who Were the Ancient Egyptians?

Movies, books, actors, video games, plays and numerous other things have influenced how we see the Ancient Egyptians. It is helpful to question these ideas we have gotten from different sources: don’t always believe what you read or see on TV! Using the space below talk about some ideas you have about the Ancient Egyptians. Who were the Ancient Egyptians? Where did they live? What time periods did the Ancient Egyptians live in? What are some beliefs? Etc.




Who were the Ancient Egyptians?

What do we know about them?





During the Visit and Rules

What to expect during the visit:

When the class first arrives we have them place their belongings on the table and sit down as a class. We then provide an introduction and go through the rules.

The introduction includes:


Then we proceed to go over the rules. The rules include:

  • No running

  • No shouting

  • No touching the glass

  • No going over, under or behind the hand rails

  • Only adults and teachers can pull out the drawers

An additional rule that teachers should note is that there is absolutely no eating or drinking in the museum.

After the rules are explained, the teachers are allowed to take over for the rest of the session.

Tracey and front of house intern(s)/volunteers will walk around and assist in any way. Lastly, if the teacher wishes, we can end the visit with a question or comments session where the children can share or ask any last queries.

Help Us Help You

Ultimately, this is your class visit and you can use whatever teaching style you wish. In the past we have teachers read stories or make projects (i.e. using dry modelling clay) while at the museum. We will help in any way that we can to make this a successful visit. Just let us know ahead of time if you want to do something different. This way we can make sure the activity is appropriate for the space and we can help set up before the class arrives.


How to Examine the Objects
The Petrie Museum has 80 000 objects in its collection – that’s quite a lot of stuff! All objects on display have a label. These labels are made to help you out – each label will tell you important information about each object displayed in the museum. It is important to understand how to decipher the labelling for each object – this skill is needed to make the most out of your visit to the Petrie Museum. Below is an example of an object with its label:


The part of Egypt object was found

The Object Museum object number



Dyn. XVIII (18) – New Kingdom


Akhenaten, Neferititi & princess Meritaten on a balustrade

Where the object was found at Tell el-Amana


UC401

Tell el-Amarna



Central Palace

Samson, Amarna, pl. 20; Stewart, Stelae, etc, pt. 1, p. 10, pl. 6


N/A

Book reference (can be used for more detailed information on the object)


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