Thursday, April 9, 2009

Expanding Our Passover Mini Unit - Science, Art, History and a little Math

We continued on with our study of Passover today. Starting off with the science project we encountered at . It's a very simple experiment of mixing warm water, yeast and sugar in a bottle with a balloon on top. As the yeast devours the sugar, producing carbon dioxide within the bottle, the balloon inflates. The younger children watched The Magic School Bus: Ready, Set, Dough, which also deals with leaven.

Next we moved on to an arts an crafts project courtesy of (they have many wonderful paper doll printables on this site). Our project, as you can see from the picture, depicts Moses leading the Israelites through the Red Sea. This was fun, but a little more time consuming than I had planned - a lot of great cutting and gluing practice, but very messy!

While the children worked on their project, they also watched the DreamWorks movie, The Prince of Egypt (that could be why the crafting took longer than I thought it should). The movie however, provided us with a springboard into history. We pulled out our Bibles, time lines, and notebooks and did a little math. In the movie makers version of the Exodus story, the Pharaoh is Ramesses. I'm guessing, because there's mention in Exodus of the Israelites building the city of Raamses. However, a quick bit of math tells us otherwise.

In I Kings 6:1 we are told that Solomon started building his temple in the 4th year of his reign and 480 years after the Exodus. Since it is usually accepted that Solomon began his reign in 970 BC, his fourth year would have been 966 BC. 966 + 480 = 1446BC. This places us more in time with Amenhotep II, or Thutmose III. There have been other thoughts on the matter of course, but the point for the children is not to take Hollywood's word as truth when it comes to matters of Biblical history (or any other history now that you mention it). Our research for all of this was pulled together from bits and pieces of information, but mainly from the Bible, the notes in my NIV Study Bible, and Dorling Kindersley's History of the World.
If we could just get some sun for a little hands on brick making to go with our charoset (or our version of it - we are not pretending to be in the least bit Kosher, but we are enjoying the pursuit of a better understanding of the customs), I think we could call our Passover mini-unit pretty well done.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

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