Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the egyptian scribe and his equipment lesson plan

Papyrus (4th Century) from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in the St. Louis Art Museum's collection.
This seated Egyptian scribe is in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Type of Lesson Plan: Object-based Lesson Plan/Reading Comprehension (Integrated Studies)
Topic: The Egyptian Scribe and His Equipment
  1. Students will be able to identify the characteristics of Egyptian writing and hieroglyphics.
  2. Students will be able to roll out clay in a uniform, consistent depth.
  3. Students will be able to discuss the differences between Egyptian writing and hieroglyphics.
  4. Students will be able to fill out a graphic organizer after reading a brief article about Egyptian scribes.
Missouri Show-Me Standards: VA 1, FA 3, FA 5,
ST Standards - CA 2, 3, 1.5, 1.6, 3.5
Reading – Develop and apply skills and strategies to the reading process
H. Grade 6 – Apply post-reading skills to demonstrate comprehension of text:
  • Draw conclusions
  • Analyze text
Fine Art:
Strand III: Artistic Perceptions – Investigate the nature of art and discuss responses to artworks
A. Grade 6 – Discuss how different cultures have different concepts of beauty
Strand V: Historical and Cultural Contexts
A.    Grade 6 – Explain how responses to artworks from various cultures are based on both personal experience and group beliefs
Strand I : Product/Performance – Sculpture, ceramics, other media
A. Grade 6 – Create a relief artwork by joining two or more surfaces using a layering material
Grade Level Targeted: Middle School (7-9)
Number of Class Periods: two 55 minute class periods plus one day where they apply the paint, this should take only a few minutes
Facility & Equipment Requirements:
  • Computer for power point presentation
  • Kiln or oven
Resources needed for teaching lesson:
  • Power point “The Egyptian Scribe”
  • Samples of ancient writing
  • Stamps of hieroglyphs
Materials Per Student:
  • Clay for tablet
  • Wooden dowels and toothpick for impressing the images
  • One rolling pin per two to three students
  • Black paint
  • Soft rubbing rag
  • Soft, large camel hair paint brush
Vocabulary Terms:
  1. Scribe – someone who “writes” or copies language
  2. Educated Official Class – Egyptians who worked for the government or a high ranking official of the Egyptian wealthy class, these males kept books and transcribed documents/law
  3. Chancellery – a government building
  4. Kilt – In ancient Egypt this was a kind of short skirt usually made from linen
  5. Hieroglyphs – a formal method of writing in Egypt, usually reserved for kings and upper class individuals and/or applied to tombs and architecture
  6. Pith – is a spongy, soft material produced by plants
  7. Pigments – color from a wide variety of clays, stones, and plant matter that is mixed with a “carrier” (water, oil, egg) in order to make paint or textile dyes
  8. Palette –  an object that an artist or scribe uses to spread/mix paint on
  9. Papyrus – a kind of paper made from plant material
Step-by step literacy activity:
  1. Students will be divided into small groups and will read together the article called “The Egyptian Scribe and His Equipment” by Dr. William C. Hayes.
  2. Students will then fill out the graphic organizer included with their packet with their small group members.
  3. Small groups will then rejoin the larger class and share with all of the students parts of their graphic organizers when called upon by the instructor.
Step-by-step of art activity:
  1. Students will roll out small clay tablets to a depth of at least ½ inch
  2. Then, poke out a message or their name using a chart, located in the room, depicting hieroglyphics
  3. The instructor will then fire the clay tablets and return these the following class period
  4. Students will then brush a black paint over their clay tablet so that the indented “hieroglyphs” will be stained darker than the rest of the tablet
  5. Next, they will need to rub down the raised areas with a soft cloth
  6. Then an acrylic sealer may be applied for permanency
Assessment of art activity: For the assessment of the literacy half of the lesson, students will be asked to transfer their graphic organizers to the chalkboard as a larger group. I will look and listen to confirm that all students have the opportunity to participate in the larger discussion and I will also collect the graphic organizers and grade them. The assessment of the art project is informal and I will look for the following things:
  • Tablets must be rolled to a consistent depth of at least ½ inch
  • Students must press into the tablet a hieroglyphic message that I can discern
  • Paint should be evenly applied to hieroglyphs only
  • Project should be turned in on time
Cleanup Time & Strategy: Allow 5 minutes of clean up if art supplies have been used.
Copyright: Donna Grimm, 2010

More Lesson Plans About Egyptian Scribes
  1. Scribe School by The Seattle Art Museum
  2. Shunat the Scribe Drama Lesson
  3. Back In Time: Heiroglyphics in Ancient Egypt
  4. Writing Systems of Ancient Egypt

All lessons copyrighted by Grimm, 2010
The above photograph is by the Saint Louis Art Museum, used by permission.

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