Teacher's Guide for DIG TM Meet the Mummies

January 2006

This teacher's Guide was created by Peggy Epstein, a language arts teacher with 25 years experience. Epstein has a Master's Degree in Instruction and Curriculum from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She is also the author of "Family Writes: Parenting with Pens, Pencils, and PC's" (Capital Books 2006).


For the issue as a whole: 

Provide students with world maps and markers or crayons.

Ask students to mark each site discussed with a different colored dot; a key can then be made when the entire March issue (including the shorter features) has been covered.

On the back of the map, ask students to list some preconceived ideas about what a mummy is. Then use the article on page 7, "The Mummy's Curse," to verify or negate some of those ideas.

For "Global Graveyard Tour" (pages 8-11) 

Divide students into pairs. Assign each pair one of the stops along the graveyard tour. One student in each pair will function as a TV correspondent; the other will take the part of an archaeologist. Students will present a three-question interview for the class based on the individual site assigned to them.

For "The World's Oldest Mummies" (pages 10-13) 

Keeping students in the pairs above, ask them to switch roles. The archaeologists will now be newspaper reporters. The TV correspondents will become archaeologists who provide information about the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" of the oldest mummies for the reporters to write down in their notes.

For "Mystery at Tarim" (pages 14-15) 

You might want to begin by discussing the idea of "natural mummies." (See the next to the last paragraph on page 14.)

Ask students to scan the article looking for the answer to this question: "What is the mystery?"

For "Living Faces" (pages 16-19)

Study Questions:

1. Who described the porcelain-like paste heads?

2. Who was listening?

3. Why was he interested?

4. When did excavations begin at this spot?

5. What did Adrianov find in one large vault?

6. In 1903 Adranov was told a shepherd had found what?

7. What kinds of things did they find in the tombs?

8. Describe (or draw and label) the dolls.

9. What were they used for?

10. What was the name of the people who used these burial methods?

11. What is the difference between the pit graves and the vaults?

12. How ere the vaults constructed?

13. What did the Tashtyk believe about the flames?

14. What were the three practices evident from the recovered heads?

15. What is one question archaeologists still have about the burial practice of the Tashtyk?

For "A Modern Mummy" (pages 20-22)

You might want to begin by discussing with students the idea of bodies being donated for research and the reasons why this modern mummy was created.

Ask students to create a numbered checklist showing the steps the Egyptologists used in their work.

NOTE: You might want to follow the same lesson plan for "Making a Cat Mummy" (pages 26-27). 

For "Keys to a Safe Journey" (pages 22-23)

After reading through the descriptions of the various amulets, ask students to design an amulet and write an explanation for both its design and its meaning.

For "What the Slices Reveal" (pages 24-25)

You might want to begin by spending some time with the photos and picture captions on page 24.

Ask students to scan for the answers to these questions:

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