Third grade St. Bernard’s boys spend their winter term studying ancient Egypt. On February 10, the three Grade III classes took a walk down Fifth Avenue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take in its impressive collection of Egyptian art, artifacts, mummies, and of course the Temple of Dendur.
The boys were split into groups, each with a docent. The tour started with the Colossal Seated Statue of a Pharaoh, sitting in the Great Hall. Next, the boys studied a tomb painting depicting everyday life in Egypt. They wrote down five observations about the paining, and then shared them with the group.
The class then walked to the Temple of Dendur, a sight made even more breathtaking by the morning sunlight flooding the Sackler Wing. They wondered through more of the Egyptian galleries until settling in front of mummies, coffins, and Coffins/Sarcophagi. Our boys had been well-briefed on the mummification process, thanks to mummy expert Dr. Bob Brier who spoke during an assembly in the fall and gave us the memorable quote about the mummy’s brain flowing out through the nose “like a strawberry milkshake.”
The study of Egypt continues back in the classroom where the boys are studying the gods, pharaohs, pyramids, and everyday life. Before the end of the term, they will create the Nile River out of clay, design a mummy case, and paint murals depicting both life and the afterlife. All in all, a great multi-disciplinary approach to studying ancient Egypt.