When I read this article the other day, For the First Time, All 5,000 Objects Found Inside King Tut’s Tomb Will Be Displayed Together, it made me wish I was back in the classroom with my sixth graders teaching world history. My students loved our unit on Ancient Egypt and they loved investigating Egyptian objects. A lot of our conversations revolved around repatriation and conservation, especially when they heard about King Tut’s mask being damaged and glued back together. (Read about it here). I can only imagine the conversations we would have about the 2018 exhibition at the Grand Egyptian Museum.
At the museum school I created museum standards for our students to master, sort of like Common Core for museum learning. In kindergarten students learned about museums as collecting institutions and by fifth grade they were expected to be designing their own exhibits with a consideration for audience and purpose. One of the strands that ran through the standards of all six grade levels was the idea that objects tell a story and collections of objects and the choice of how they are displayed can tell the full story of a culture or convey a big idea.
The Grand Egyptian Museum will not only be exhibiting previously unseen objects from King Tut’s tomb; they “will also have chronological galleries that will take visitors from pre-history to the Greek and Roman periods in ancient Egypt.”
This exhibition technique is one I wish I could share with students. It’s an idea that flows into methods of historical thinking and can be used to teach standards of the C3 framework.
Early in my blogging adventure I wrote about my childhood experience at the Ramses II exhibition and its influence on me. Teaching about the Grand Egyptian Museum is one way to ignite a love of history in our students and encourage them to be more aware of preserving cultural heritage as a way to tell the full story of the past.