People have long been fascinated with the ancient Egyptian mummies. Mummies have often been misunderstood in popular culture as scary Halloween creatures wrapped in unraveling bandages. But for the ancient Egyptians, mummification was a sacred way of honoring the dead. They believed that mummification was necessary for the person who died to be granted entrance to the afterlife.
Fact and Fiction
Make a list with your students labeled What We Think About Mummies. Include all the thoughts and associations that your students have on the subject. Then using the Web sites below, investigate each assumption and label it true or false. Fill in the details of what you have learned. Explain to your students that this process of posing theories and then doing research can be applied to other subjects.
Adventures in Archaeology
After reading the stories of the excavation of mummies in Egyptian tombs at the Web sites below, encourage students to write their own first-person stories of mummy adventure. Ask them to include as many of the facts from your research about mummies as they can. When the stories are finished, bind them in a book between cardboard covers that have been wrapped in layers of masking tape.
Make Mummy Cases
Mummies were encased in elaborate cases decorated with gold and beautiful colors. Using a large sheet of tagboard, or a large cardboard box (unfolded) and the pictures of mummy cases available at the Web sites listed below as inspiration, have your students design a large mummy case. They can draw the initial design in pencil and then fill it in bright colored paint. Your life-sized mummy case will be a classroom favorite.