Dadventure: Exploring the Field Museum
Chicago has some world-class museums and attractions! I feel very fortunate to be able to take my kids on Dadventures to places where such rich learning can be done. We have expanded our minds at the Museum of Science and Industry. we’ve sketched in the Art Institute of Chicago, and we’ve been etymologists in the Morton Arboretum.
This last week we wrapped up a few chapters on Ancient Egypt (part of this year’s home-school curriculum), so we made our way into the city to see how much of what we had learned was on display in the Field Museum. Like any other museum that I have ever blogged about, there is just toI much to see and do at the Field Museum to cover it all in one trip. So I am not going to try.
We were there primarily to learn more about ancient Egypt. In my opinion this exhibit alone is worth the price of admission. It is a three-story recreation of the mastaba (tomb) built for Unis-Ankh, the son of a pharoah.
I think I actually heard the Indiana Jones theme in my head…
Right as you enter you can enter a room where full color hieroglyphics are illuminated by just the light coming in from outside… with detailed explanations on what their purpose was and how they were made.
The centerpiece to this exhibit are the two authentic rooms from the actual, 5000 year-old, tomb of Unis-Ankh. When we went through their was a docent inside ready to answer the questions we had and explain the significance of what we were seeing. Apparently Unis-Ankh enjoyed the ancient Egyptian form of beer, according to the hieroglyphs, a fact my boys seemed more than excited to point out to me… “Dad he liked beer just like you!”
After you leave the rooms you descend down a 3 story spiral staircase into the belly of the tomb. Here you learn about the ancient Egyptian beliefs and rituals surrounding death. Which is fascinating especially for a history buff/Mythology Geek like me. There are mummies galore along with great recreations of tombs. You learn which organs get preserved, and which don’t… and why! You learn the process for mummification and how long it takes (hint it takes more than a day). You also see and learn how to make it through the underworld… should your fate cause you to die as an ancient Egyptian.
This was a great way for us to cap off a month of studying ancient Egypt. There is nothing compared to hands on and exhibit based learning to augment what we study in books. This experience was a good reminder of why I “dadventure”. Getting out and learning outside of a classroom setting is something that makes learning real and exciting. It inspires creative thinking and makes the learning process fun.
We did get to see more than just ancient Egypt. We got a Worm’s eye view of the ground beneath our feet in the “Underground Adventure”, saw fantastic rare gems in the “Grainger Hall of Gems”, and took a journey through the six mass extinction events (including the one we are currently in) in the “Evolving Planet”. Now no trip to the Field Museum is complete without a visit to “Sue” the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.
We had a great day filled with learning and fun, and make no mistake we will be back to dadventure at the Field Museum soon.