Friday, August 31, 2012


Today we wrote with hieroglyphs! It made me appreciate cuneiform on clay tablets. Cuneiform was simpler, logical, and if you made a mistake it was easy to "erase" and do over. Also the stick was much easier to write with than the thinnest paintbrush. It really gave you the sense that whatever the Egyptians wrote must have been very important because it took more time and effort than the cuneiform.

Builder Boy started out planning to write a sentence but after writing his name he was done. He put the border around it to show it was his name and then moved on to making his own hieroglyphs. That turned out to be instructions on how to get around a pyramid (from Mummies in the Morning (Magic Tree House, No. 3) ) Instead of letters or sounds his pictures stood for words, which was close to the original hieroglyphs, so that was okay.

Early Bird decided to actually join us today and, all on his own and his own initiative, he wrote letters!  I thought that was pretty cool. He's been working in a dry-erase letter writing workbook when I do handwriting with Builder Boy, but he mostly does the 'A,a' and 'B,b' so I was surprised that he did 'E, t, H, & A' and I think an 'O' at the top. Or maybe a 'U.'

And I made a scroll for our comparison experiment we are going to do next week. I had a lot of fun making it, although I have come to the conclusion that whatever they used the bird for that was on my chart for 'A' they didn't use very often because it was a pain to make. And of course my English sentence had 6 of them. It says "Long ago [Pharaoh Builder Boy] built a pyramid that reached the sky."

I originally thought about having us write on parchment paper but when I got it out to write on it didn't look like it would hold up, and I believe papyrus was thicker. So we ended up using washable kid's paint with small paintbrushes on white construction paper.

The idea for this activity as well as the hieroglyphic alphabet came from the Story of the World Activity Book: Ancient Times.

Check out this post about our "Clay Tablet or Paper: Which Lasts Longer?" investigation.

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