BLOOMFIELD, NJ — The study of ancient civilizations is part of the Bloomfield elementary school curriculum and for the last two months, Watsessing Elementary sixth-graders have been learning about ancient Egypt from their teacher, Elena Kazoun.
On Friday, Jan. 25, before moving on to Mesopotamia, the students learned firsthand what it was like being a mummy or at least looking like one. But instead of being wrapped in linen, as was the pharaoh, toilet paper did the trick. The students had also made cardboard pyramids and obelisks from clay, and clay scarabs — a beetle symbolizing immortality, resurrection and transformation for the ancient Egyptians — just to name a few objects on display in the classroom.
“The women in ancient Egypt had a lot of rights,” Kazoun said. “My students couldn’t believe that children in ancient Egypt got married at 12 or 13.”
Plenty of toil went into constructing the pyramids and sphynx and a lot of hard work at Watsessing Elementary went into learning about it. But at the end of the class, Kazoun had the toilet paper scraps collected and put into a large, durable plastic bag. Presto: a comfortable, modern chair! Heather Sall, a bilingual ESL instructor, assisted with the class.