The study of the civilization of Ancient Egypt seems to be a universal theme in elementary school Social Studies. As an added bonus, kids love this theme! Learning the details of mummification, building pyramids, and the mythology of Ancient Egypt are great hooks to capture students’ attention and interest.
Finding resources in the school library is usually successful – there are a so many great books written at a level aimed at junior level students and illustrated with photographs of museum artifacts or colorful and intriguing diagrams.
But the Internet is another fabulous source of resources and one that kids are motivated and eager to use. And even better, sites like Delicious allow teachers to collect or find others’ collections of themed bookmarks. Delicious is a social bookmarking site that allows users to search for bookmark collections called stacks. You can just view a stack or ‘follow’ it to note additions and changes over time. You can also create your own stacks of links. Publish and share them with others and even invite contributors.
For a curriculum theme, a social bookmarking site is a remarkable, valuable, and effective resource. For example, Ancient Egypt is a list of over 40 sites geared especially to students in Grades 4 to 6. Students can visit this online collection of sites without the time consuming chore of Internet research. Sites are selected to be appropriate for young students, so the possibility of venturing into inappropriate places is very unlikely. Allow students to browse through the collection or suggest particular topics for further investigation, such as hieroglyphics, gods and goddesses, or daily life. Successful searching is guaranteed with a preselected list of favorites designed for use by teachers and kids.
A project on Ancient Egypt is a sure winner no matter what type of resources are used. Reading about scarab beetles and grave robbers, role playing as pharaohs and queens, and painting in the Egyptian style are great ways to appeal to students and ensure learning. Adding a readymade collection of online websites is another useful resource for educators. With it, we can make the computer become an integrated classroom tool.