Nefertiti Necklace

Nefertiti Necklace lesson plan

The story of Nefertiti and the dynamic malleability of Crayola Model Magic® make an exciting project with which to begin or end ancient Egyptian studies.

  • 1.

    Her name means "the beautiful one is come." The only sculpture of Nefertiti, wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, is on display at the Berlin Museum. This rare and intact sculpture beautifully illustrates the dress and decoration sported by ancient Egyptians during the 18th Dynasty. At that time, precious gems and beads were almost exclusively used for body ornamentation. Gems such as pearls, emeralds, and cat’s eye were combined with exquisitely crafted glass beads. Invite students to look at photos of the Nefertiti figure. Check out other historical depictions of the time period as well as archeological finds to learn more about the style of adornment for royal Egyptians.

  • 2.

    Organize students into small groups to begin an investigation into Nefertiti and her roles in the history of Ancient Egypt. Prior to opening the research, ask students to generate a list of topics on which students can focus. Organize a variety of text and electronic resources for students to use during this activity. Groups share their research with classmates in a presentation format of their choice.

  • 3.

    Prior to the beginning of group presentations, ask students to create decorative necklaces, much like Nefertiti might wear. To begin the necklace (or other body ornamentation from the period), students shape different-colored Crayola Model Magic® compound into rectangles, coils, balls, ovals, and other shapes typical for Ancient Egyptian jewelry. For smooth, square edges, cut pieces with Crayola Scissors.

  • 4.

    Roll out thin Model Magic sheets with a rolling pin or marker barrel. Cover spring-clip plastic clothespins with the flattened compound to make the largest ornaments. Extend the tips as needed to make space to thread the clothespins as beads. Smooth out and shape into decorative pieces. Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.

  • 5.

    Students lay out the pieces into the configuration of their necklaces or other jewelry. Create separate strings in different patterns. Lace beads together using a large sewing needle with fishing line. Knot ends.

  • 6.

    To join strings together into one necklace, place them in order. Lay a chenille stem across the knotted ends on one side and twist the chenille stem around knots. Repeat on the other side. Twist and fold chenille stems for reinforcement. Form a hook and eye clasp on either side of the necklace with the ends of the chenille stems.

  • 7.

    Bejewel the precious gems with Crayola Glitter Glue. Air-dry the glue before wearing or exhibiting.

  • 8.

    During groups presentations of Ancient Egypt research, members of each group wear their necklace or jewelry.

Standards

  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details, to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • MATH: Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Demonstrate an ability to use correctly vocabulary associated with time such as past, present, future, and long ago; read and construct simple timelines; identify examples of change; and recognize examples of cause and effect relationships.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resource include: Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book About Ancient Egypt by Gail Gibbons; Arts, Leisure, and Sport in Ancient Egypt by Don Nardo; Ancient Egypt by Don Nardo; Ancient Egyptian Art by Susie Hodge
  • Ancient Egyptians were the first to make a paper-like substance on which to write. Students investigate the history of papyrus and the process by which it was made in Egypt. Have students re-write the process in their own words. If possible, have a few samples of papyrus available for students to see.
  • An Egyptian scribe was well-respected in Ancient Egyptian society. Research the training to become a scribe, the tool kit a scribe would use for his profession, and the daily life of a scribe in the society. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.
  • Investigate jewelry of Ancient Egypt. What gems were included in jewelry? What processes were used to create the jewelry?