Scarab Beetle

Scarab Beetle lesson plan

While investigating pyramids and mummies, invite students to craft a replica of an amulet. This pendant gleams with symbols of Ancient Egypt!

  • 1.

    During a study of Ancient Egypt, students will discover that symbols were very important to Ancient Egyptians. The scarab is a Kephri or dung beetle. While the scarab does not sound very powerful or even pretty, what the beetle did was significant to the Egyptians. What did this beetle represent to this ancient culture?

  • 2.

    During an investigation into Ancient Egypt, invite student groups to find out what type of stones scarabs were carved in. Provide photographs for viewing and discussion.

  • 3.

    Once the research component of this lesson is complete, provide students with materials to create their own scarabs. Begin by distributing White Crayola Model Magic that can be kneaded into an oval shape. The handle end of a Crayola Paint Brush can be used to score a scarab design into the Model Magic. Then ask students to press a hole in the top of their scarabs and air-dry the beetles overnight.

  • 4.

    In preparation for painting scarabs, have students cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Paint the scarabs using gold Crayola Premier Tempera. Air-dry the paint overnight.

  • 5.

    Students highlight the scarab design with a dark Crayola Fine Line Marker.

  • 6.

    Provide students with a piece of yarn or string to thread through the hole in scarab. Secure the ends with adhesive tape. Students proudly wear their artwork around necks.

  • 7.

  • 8.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • 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: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and 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 resources include: National Geographic Kids Everything Ancient Egypt: Dig Into a Treasure Trove of Facts, Photos, and Fun by Crispin Boyer; Ancient Egypt by George Hart
  • Students investigate the dung beetle's natural history characteristics. Research other Ancient Egyptian symbols found on jewelry such as the Ankh and Eye of Horus. What do these represent? In what ways do people use these symbols in everyday life? Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.
  • Investigate additional information about precious stones used by Ancient Egyptians. This might include red carnelian and green faience. What are their special properties> How do people use these stones today?
  • Students investigate the distinctive drawing style of Ancient Egyptians. What was the rationale behind it? Draw a contemporary event using an Ancient Egyptian style.
  • Encourage students to investigate Egyptian hieroglyphs. Have them write their names in a cartouche. How is this type of writing an art form?