Implementation of “Oil In Ancient Egypt” (SOI-IT-39)

I implemented this scenario, created by Raffaela Serrani as part of the Italian user group. I decided to implement the scenario with a small 4th grade class of the Primary School of Travo in collaboration with the History teacher. Ancient Egypt had just been introduced among kids and this represented an ideal  framework. The scenario was perfectly cross-curricular, and its implementation lasted for 6 lessons. We decided to use the suggested CLIL methodology. We mainly focused on History, but the various competencies connected to the other school subjects involved such as English, ICT and Art were also very well trained. Moreover, the scenario stimulated cooperation, communication, critical thinking, creativity… all fundamental 21st-century skills.

Implementation Step by Step – Learning Process and Reactions of Students

At the beginning I presented the Europeana platform. Pupils, despite being a little puzzled in front of such a wide online library, were thrilled to start with something totally new to them. We browsed together the different pages to become familiar with the platform and be able to use the resources in a proper way. The initial phase of the scenario stimulated and connected students’ previous knowledge to new info. Using Padlet, they shared their previous knowledge about ancient Egypt. This allowed students to think individually, decide the essential information to write down and share, browse and connect meaningful images. It took time for students to sum up their previous knowledge, while the search for pictures to symbolize ancient Egypt was easier and more immediate. The vision of the two videos suggested, both well structured and suitable for 4th graders, contributed in strengthening a consistent framework, connecting old information to new discoveries. The use of Mentimer allowed students to form a hypothesis about oils.

In the central part of the scenario we entered the core of the topic.

Students discovered the 5 plants at the origin of different oils by exploring Europeana. They had the chance to see how these different plants are structured, becoming more aware of plants and seeds and finding images related to the use of oils in ancient Egypt. This new information was broadened by using Google to make connections and finding differences about ancient and modern uses. The final part of the scenario focused on summing up and sharing the new knowledge acquired and it was implemented through a couple of activities: the creation of a 3D paper pyramid and the realization of a Canva poster to advertise features and properties of each oil. Kids were very involved in both activities, retracing the learning path and becoming more aware of the new knowledge.


The scenario allowed students to discover curious info, acquire new knowledge and train many different competencies. It took longer than expected, but it promoted in the class several learning/teaching techniques and tools that were unusual for them. In a final metacognitive revision moment, created through some open ended questions, showed that both teachers and students really appreciated the scenario and perfectly understood the learning process.

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Oil in Ancient Egypt, created by Raffaela Serrani

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