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Art Language Arts Math and Science Mummies Social Studies
Life-Sized Mummy Case
From the collection of the DIA:
Major Resources

Putnam, James. Tutankhamun Ancient Egypt Action Pack.

Please take note that my unit to create a mummy case takes 19
50-minute class periods to complete at a fifth-grade level. Here is a brief summary of each lesson:

Lesson 1:
Intro to ancient Egyptian culture, art and mummy cases through books, slides and class discussion.

Lesson 2:
An introduction to hieroglyphs and their purpose with slides, and handouts. Students form into groups of no more than six.

Group work can be compared to the way ancient Egyptian craftspeople worked. Individual artists didn´t sign their work and it was not important to make new and different designs but to repeat designs from the past that everyone could recognize. The purpose of art was to express ancient Egyptian´s belief in an afterlife. Each member creates their own sketch of a mummy case, and other design elements, many of which could symbolize everlasting life, used on real mummy cases.

Lesson 3 and 4:
Students will break into their groups. Each group member will discuss and share their sketches with each other. The group will then pool and integrate ideas into a final draft. This model will be a prototype for a sculpture of a life-sized mummy case.

Lesson 5:
Contruct the mummy case of cardboard. Case should be approximately 4´ high, 16" wide and 8" deep. Teacher assistance may be required to measure and cut. Transparent packing tape is used to adhere pieces together. Be sure to place packing tape on INSIDE of cardboard because tempera paint will not adhere to tape!

Lesson 6 and 7:
Students begin to draw on the mummy case using their group sketch. If they haven´t done so already, students will need to design the back and sides of their mummy case as well. Seeing the mummy case in three dimensions brings home the point that their work is a sculpture that will be viewed from all sides.

Lesson 8, 9 and 10:
Face and hands molds [see Activity]

Lesson 11:
A smaller box can be taped onto the mummy box using packing tape on the inside of the box. The face mask can later be fastened on the front of the smaller box.

kadaj1.jpgLesson 12 and 13:
Wait at least one day for face and hands to harden. Adhere face mask and hands to mummy case, using slots and tabs. To fasten hands, glue, then tape, a long cardboard "tab" behind the wrist of each hand. Make 2 diagonal slits into the mummy case where hands will go and insert tabs. Tape them in place from the inside. We also tied on the hands using fish line fastened to holes punched into the mummy case behind the hands. The face was attached to the box extension using slots and tabs. Two tabs were taped onto the inside of the face mask and slipped into slots cut into the front of the box. The tabs work better if the end inserted into each slot is cut to form a point. [Click to see diagrams.]

Lessons 14 - 19:
Students paint the mummy case, mixing paint to create different colors, shades and tints. Lessons on color mixing can be incorporated here. Students will need to refer to slides, books and other visual materials.

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