LONDONDERRY — Two dozen third-graders learned to walk (and eat) like an Egyptian Thursday morning during a special celebration inside their North Elementary School classroom.
For the past month or so, students in Liz Anderson’s classroom have been absorbed in all things Egyptian, such as mummy making and writing their names in hieroglyphics. Earlier this week, they even got to travel to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to check out some authentic Egyptian artifacts.
On Thursday, Anderson’s classroom was transformed into a semi-authentic Egyptian banquet.
Sure, the “golden” cups and plates were actually made of plastic, but with a little imagination the students found themselves among pharaohs and mummies.
The morning was spent mastering several Egyptian crafts, with best buddies Kyle McPaile and Lendro Myrtoglou-Olbrys using magic markers to decorate the colorful, cardboard sarcophagus collars worn around their necks, reminiscent of the jeweled ones adorning bodies in ancient tombs.
At another nearby table, Jenna O’Connell was hard at work putting the finishing touches on a “canopic jar,” almost like the ones used by ancients to store the organs of their dearly departed.
O’Connell said she chose to decorate her jar with a clay-sculpted jackal, which in Egyptian times represented Anubis, the dog-headed god of the afterlife.
With their craft projects completed and proudly displayed at the front of the classroom, a half-dozen parent volunteers got down to the business of setting out a tasty spread of food for the children’s “royal” lunch.
There was plenty of room for interpretation. The kids consumed grape juice rather than wine, and Fig Newton cookies rather than figs.
Maple syrup took the place of the traditional honey once used to sweeten ancient palates. Anderson explained that the pita bread the kids eagerly munched on was similar to the flat bread Egyptians used to bake in their clay beehive ovens.
She reminded the children that such treats were once reserved solely for the upper class.
“If we were really at a party in ancient Egypt, these folks would be your servants,” she told the students, flipping her Cleopatra wig out of her eyes. “This is how the rich people once lived.”