Jul 17, 2013

Fruity Mummies, An Ancient Egypt Activity

Last week we went on a pretty awesome journey through ancient Egypt for our week's theme learning.  We read about pharaohs, the pyramids, and the sphinx.  We watched a few great documentarys online and enjoyed the week so much, we plan on extending our ancient Egypt week by investigating a couple of our favorite pharaohs and creating a lap book about them!

Our favorite project of the week, however, would have to be the mummification activity we did with apple slices!

To set up, I got out 8 different cups and put a piece of duct tape on them for labels.  Then I got the ingredients:  salt, baking soda, and something the ancient Egyptians definitely had plenty of: sand!  All three ingredients are said to the ability to dry out and preserve things, so I figured it would be interesting to see how the apple would change while buried in them.

 I cut an apple into eight chunks and dropped a chunk into each cup.  Then the kids and I covered the chunks with our possible mummifiers.
In the first three cups we used baking soda, salt, and sand all by their self.  In the next three cups, we used 50/50 mixtures of the three ingredients, so they ended up being baking soda/salt, salt/sand, and baking soda/sand.  In the seventh cup, we did an even mixture of all three; the final cup was left alone with just its chunk of apple as our control.

The kids wrote their predictions regarding which apples would be the best preserved and we set the cups on the top of our craft hutch for the week.

Today we took them down and dug out the apple chunks.
Here is what we found, with 1-8 going counter clockwise

The kids both agreed that the apple chunk that had been left in the salt was the best preserved, still retaining its coloring perfectly and not moldy at all.  The chunk that had been left in the sand had not dried up at all, but was instead a squishy mess, and our control was covered in mold. 

Princess was a bit grossed out.
The apple chunk that was the most dried up was the piece left in the salt/baking soda mixture.  It was thoroughly dried out and the skin had changed colors to a dark brown, similar to what mummies look like!
I love Dirty D's expression!
Here's where I linked up! I Can Teach My Child
The Educators' Spin On It


  1. Oh, I love that you used several possibilites and the control. If we ever get back to Egypt, I am definitely doing this! Visiting from Afterschool.

    1. Yes, I have been trying to teach them about variables and controls in science experimentation. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Wow! You really made learning fun! I'm featuring this at the After School Linky Party tomorrow. Stop by my blog to check it out and keep sharing more of your amazing ideas and activities!

    1. Awesome! Thank you, I will definitely stop by and check it out! Thanks for the feature! :)