Desert Discovery: Pyramids

If you have missed it, we are on a Desert Discovery this month with our newest unit from Mother Goose Time.  We have had a blast learning about all things that go into the rodeo and what the nights are like in the desert. And you can’t discuss the desert and not talk about the 
Great Pyramids in Egypt, which is exactly what we did this week!
Here is what was included in our daily discovery bag (the cubes are the manipulative of the month):
Our days usually start with Circle Time.   I happened to have a bunch of styrofoam cups, so right after breakfast, I asked my 4 year old to use the cups to build a pyramid.  We worked on it together for just the bottom layer, and as soon as she saw where we were headed with it, she did the rest.

With her perfectionist tendencies (which drive me nuts many days), it sometimes is such a struggle to have her start a project without any help or a picture to go by.  Handing her 10 cups and telling her to go and try to build a tower is a recipe for a meltdown.  So many activities we explore together.  Me, not necessarily showing her, but guiding her along her path, and helping her understand that no one is perfect, and perfection is not attainable- trying her best is.
After building pyramids with the cups, we explored building both a square pyramid and a triangular pyramid (depends on the base) with our PicassoTiles.  She could easily see that the square pyramid had 4 sides, while the triangular pyramid had 3 sides.  Seeing the empty space inside led to some great discussion: 
What do you think people put in pyramids? 

I read the book Step Inside Egypt to her after this question arose from our home library along with the book from our It’s A Small World Unit last February: Wonder Around the World!
We found that the pyramids were made with many tunnels and housed the bodies of famous Egyptians including their pharaohs. 
After reading that, it was the perfect time to do our Community Challenge: Pyramid Tunnels which is pictured at the beginning of this post.
When the community challenges require more than my one student, I usually have to get a little crafty.  What could I do to make a tunnel for my preschooler?  
 I remembered my son’s first birthday gift from us- a tunnel and pyramid shaped ball pit.
Perfect!  Adding a dark sheet on top makes the pyramid darker inside while our Golden Retriever does her best Sphinx pose to guard the pyramid’s entrance.
In our reading, we discussed hieroglyphics.  MGT supplied us with some pictures which I taped on the walls inside the pyramid.  As she crawled through the tunnel entrance into the pyramid, she used her flashlight to locate the hieroglyphics and tell me what she thought they represented.

After spending much time playing in our pyramid, we did a little more building using our cube manipulatives and Shape Design Mats.
I love how she came up with a pattern for the large pyramid!  She has been into pattern making a lot lately, which I think is all thanks to MGT since it incorporates patterns so much and so well!
As much as I wanted to do our Pyramid Stamping project, we ran out of time, but I am still hopeful we will get to it sometime this weekend.  That’s one of the MANY perks of being a homeschooler.  
Happy Learning friends!

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