Wednesday 22nd February 2012 – Ancient Egypt came to life in Year 3
We had an extremely enjoyable start to the Spring Term before Half Term in Year 3. Many of our lessons linked into our overarching topic ‘Ancient Egypt’.
Amongst other things, the children got arty, completing not one, not two, but THREE different pieces of artwork on the topic: Egyptian textured landscape paintings, printed hieroglyphics and salt dough amulets (jewels). Not only did this allow them to develop their skills in several different areas of Art and Design but it also helped to embed their learning from their History lessons. Click here to see galleries of the most impressive works of art.
In Literacy, we learnt about all the important features found in the genre of adventure mystery stories. Using ‘talk for writing’ techniques, we learnt a story about a couple of children who discovered an ancient tomb full of treasures but were trapped inside, perhaps forever! Features such as repetition; short sentences to create excitement; rhetorical questions for suspense and a cliff-hanger ending all became embedded in the children’s minds. As a result they were able to plan and write their own incredibly creative versions, again applying knowledge from History as well as developing their writing abilities through a subject matter appealing to boys and girls alike!
One Family Learning Homework task during this half term involved wrapping a doll or cuddly toy in fabric or toilet roll as a mummy. We were pleasantly surprised at how many children went to the extra effort of making tiny amulets to go between the layers, or created coffins for their mummies decorated with hieroglyphics. The subjects of mummification and tomb invaders definitely caught their imagination! The instructions they wrote in History outlining the complicated process of mummification had clearly also sunk in.
Part of our History unit involved the children comparing the lives of rich and poor people in Ancient Egypt. They became really familiar with photographs of Egyptian artefacts and were able to use their detective skills to work out which photographs belonged to which family as well as what they might lead us to conclude about their lifestyles. As is often the case, we discovered that there is far more evidence available to inform us of richer lifestyles than of the poorer sections of society.
Towards the end of the unit of work, the children’s fine-honed detective skills were really put to the test as they were introduced to four characters that were in some way linked to an ancient Pharaoh. The children were told that these people’s tombs had been raided and they had to work out which items came from which tomb. This engaging task furthered the children’s knowledge of ways of life for carpenters, artists, viziers (the Pharaoh’s right-hand-man), priestesses and noblemen. It also showed us the extraordinary amount of general knowledge that many of the children had picked up through their own reading around the subject since Christmas. Well done Year 3, you really did us proud!
For the second half of the Autumn Term, we are looking forward to teaching a new topic, based around the classic children’s novel The Iron Man by Ted Hughes. This will include a Design Technology project (including an opportunity to extend children’s mathematical understanding of 3D shape), a new Science unit (Materials) and letter-writing.
We look forward to catching up with you and discussing your child’s progress in our forthcoming Parent-Teacher meetings.