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Lesson Plan Title : Making a Mummy

Age Range: Grade 3 through Grade 5 (Elementary)

Overview and Purpose: Is that you, "Mummy"? Students will learn about the history and science of mummification by creating a mummy with an apple.

Objective: The student will be able to demonstrate the basic principle of removing moisture from an object to mummify it.

Resources:

Apple slices

Salt

Baking soda

Plastic Ziploc baggies

Scale

Teacher-created worksheet

Activities:

Explain to the students that they are going to be making apple mummies. Divide the students into pairs and pass out the apple slices and the worksheets. Have them complete the first section on the worksheet.

Pass out the salt, baking soda, and Ziploc baggies. Have the students place the apple and equal parts salt and baking soda in the baggie. Make sure the apple slice is completely covered by the mixture. Close the bag and set it in a cool, dry place for several days.

Have the students take their apple slices out and examine them. They will be shrunken and dry. Have the students complete the bottom half of their worksheet. Come together and talk about their observations. Guide them into realizing that mummies were made by removing the moisture from a body. Without the moisture, bacteria cannot grow and the body will not decompose.

Sample questions for a worksheet:

Fresh Apple

1. What does the apple

a. feel like? ___________________________________

b. smell like? __________________________________

c. look like? ___________________________________

2. How much does the apple weigh? _______________________________

3. What do you think will happen when you put the apple in the salt and baking soda? Why?

Dried Apple

1. What does the apple

a. feel like? ___________________________________

b. smell like? __________________________________

c. look like? ___________________________________

2. How much does the apple weigh? _______________________________

3. What happened when you put the apple in the salt and baking soda? Why do you think that happened?

 

Wrap Up:

To extend the lesson, you could ask the students to research and create a coffin (sarcophagus) for their apple mummies, then write a short story about their mummy's life: name, age, how they died, etc. Put them on display. Later, students could bury the mummy in their own back yard... Creepy!

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