Skype Like an Egyptian?

By Nora Gregory

In fifth grade social studies, Ms. Boyle’s students were concluding a unit of study about Ancient Egypt. She decided to skype with Egyptologists so that her class could learn more about this important topic. Students got to ask these experts many questions, like:

-Was anything ever successfully stolen from a tomb in Egypt?

-Was there a secret service for the Pharaoh?

-Were some of the Pharaohs corrupt?

-How many things was King Tut buried with?

-Where is Cleopatra buried?

-What did the Egyptians wear?

The Egyptologists on the Skype call were Jordan Galczynski and Jeff Newman, two graduate students from UCLA. They both have extensive backgrounds in Egyptian Archaeology and have done digs in Egypt. Ms. Galczynski has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Greek and Roman Classics from Temple University and an M.A. in  Egyptian Archaeology from the University of Chicago. Her topics of research was the use of votive offerings in the Hathor Cult during the New Kingdom festivals in the Theban area, and personal piety/personal religion.

Mr. Newman has a B.A. in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and went to Pennsylvania State University. He also has an M.A. in Egyptian Archaeology from the University of Chicago. Mr. Newman studies Egyptian interaction with the Levant during the early Bronze Ages, and he also researches raw materials in the early dynastic and old kingdoms, and Egyptian warfare and military campaigns. These topics sound very interesting to me!

Many students in Ms.Boyle’s class had never used Skype, so this was a first for them. The kids enjoyed the project, which took place in December, because the students were happy to make a video call to someone in California. The students were also eager to learn more fun facts about Egypt. According to Ms. Boyle, the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves during this call.

Ms. Boyle says she is always trying to find new fun ways to engage her students and this Skype call was one of her many great ideas. Ms. Boyle believes her class was interested to talk to these educators because they had such a strong academic background in Ancient Egypt. She was very happy the experts could join them in this intriguing assignment.

 Ms. Boyle’s class was very lucky to do this project, and she said she will be doing it again. So fourth grade, be ready for an awesome project next year!

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