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South Callaway embraces Egypt

South Callaway embraces Egypt

November 24th, 2017 by Helen Wilbers in Local News

<p>Helen Wilbers/For the News Tribune</p><p>Cole Brewer, left, Noah Kinney and Landon Adams, sixth-graders at South Callaway Middle School, said they had a great time building their models. They used clay as a stand-in for the mud bricks ancient Egyptians preferred.</p>

Students at South Callaway Middle School learned to walk, build tombs and make mummies like Egyptians.

Teacher Michael Nichols said the students were divided into groups and given topics related to ancient Egypt.

"Their goal was to become an expert on their topic," Nichols said.

They presented the fruits of their studies Tuesday. Some of the factoids they found were new even to Nichols.

"That was the neat part," he said.

Students built props and wrote one-page essays to go with their presentations.

Eli Benningfield spent four hours building his model of the Valley of Kings, and he took home a practical lesson.

"I learned maybe next time don't build something so big," he said.

Members of the architecture group were eager to share what they'd learned about Egyptian building materials.

"They made their houses out of mud bricks," Noah Kinney explained.

Landon Adams said the Egyptians used a square cutting tool to shape the mud mixture just so, then dried the bricks in the sun.

Cole Brewer focused on the pyramids, which he said were made largely of sandstone blocks, pushed into place using ramps. Aliens had nothing to do with it, he concluded.

"This is probably one of my favorite school projects so far," Adams said.

Some students, like Jayce Ellerman, enjoyed the more gruesome aspects of Egyptian life. He talked about the mummification process, which involved pulling the future mummy's brains out through the nose.

Others jumped into the complexity of Egyptian culture. Aaron McDonald and Aidan Cheney learned about the Egyptians' many gods and goddesses, some of whom were higher ranked than others.

"Anubis is my favorite," McDonald said. "He has the head of a jackal and guards the pharaohs' tombs."

In addition to helping them learn about ancient Egypt, Nichols said, the project taught the sixth-graders about how to find good sources, conduct research and organize information into essays.