Teacher's Guide for DIG TM Etruria and the EtruscansMarch 2004
Teacher Guide prepared by: Lisa Greenberg. Lisa Greenberg taught in international schools in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. She now lives and writes for children's and travel magazines in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
This teacher's guide offers many possibilities. Choose the ones that will both draw on your students' skills and challenge them.
"Mysterious Etruscans," p. 6.
Ask students what they know about Etruscans and how they know it. If students have never heard of the Etruscans, explain that the height of the Etruscan civilization was from the eighth to the sixth centuries B.C. Inform them that only about 500 written Etruscan words have been deciphered. Ask students how they think archaeologists and other scholars can learn anything about Etruscans when they can read so little of the few examples of their written literature and history. Guide the discussion toward understanding that archaeologists "read the clues" of lost civilizations. They gather as many facts as they can about a civilization and then theorize about how the civilization worked.
Divide the class into small groups and have each group examine the cover photograph of an Etruscan wall painting of a musician. Have each group talk about the details they notice in the picture and then "theorize" about what the picture might tell archaeologists about the Etruscan civilization.
Discuss the differences between fact and theory and write a group definition of these words.
COMPREHENSION: Since Etruscan history and literature have disappeared, what kinds of evidence do archaeologists have about Etruscan life? What does this evidence tell us?
"Investing in the Afterlife," p. 6-10
ART: Draw or build a model of the interior/exterior of an Etruscan tomb. Use details from the text and photos.
"Living on the 'Frontier'," pp. 12-15; "A Kiln With a Story," pp. 18-20; & "Rummaging in the Basement," pp.22-25
RESEARCH: Contrast and compare the structure of the Etruscan necropolis and the Egyptian pyramid.
Compare the burial practices of the Etruscans and the Egyptians.
CREATIVE WRITING: Choose one of the tomb paintings in the magazine and use it as a story starter for a fictional story or poem about the Etruscans.
GROUP WORK: Distinguishing between fact and theory: Divide class into working groups. Have each group fold a paper lengthwise in two and head the left hand column FACTS and the right hand column THEORY. Ask them to choose one article, read it closely, and list the facts discovered through the archaeological dig; then have them write down the theories offered by the authors to explain the facts.
"Fashionable Teeth," pp.16-17
OBSERVATION / DISCUSSION: List fashions that your fellow classmates follow. Discuss why they follow them. Why do you think some Etruscan women used gold bands and false ivory teeth?
"A Kiln with a Story," pp. 18-21
CREATIVE WRITING: Make up a myth, fable, or folktale about a demon invading a kiln and smashing the pottery. You might want to include a moral as in Aesop's fables or the character of a protecting god as in the Greek myths.
"Etruscan Graffiti," pp. 20-21
VOCABULARY: Write your own definitions for "inscription" and "graffiti." Compare your definitions with those of your friends. Try to use each of these words twice in your conversations during the week.
"Rummaging in the Basement," pp. 22-24
READING FOR INFORMATION:
"Thunder 'Speaks,'" pp. 24-25
- Why had the bones from Costi di Manone been thrown away? (Excavators didn't think cremated bones could yield information.)
- What tool did the archaeologist use and what did she discover about the cloth found in the tomb? (A microscope showed that the cloth had been a white and purple veil and that its owner had wavy hair.)
- How was ancient cremation different from modern cremation? (The fires did not reach as high a temperature and larger pieces of bones were left.)
- How old were the bones and to whom did they belong? (Between 2700 and 2100 years old; a teenage bride, an older woman with arthritis, a young man and his parents, a warrior)
- Why does the author think the horses in Tarquinia were sacrificed? (Because they had won a funeral race, as sacrifices to the dead)
- What information helped the author identify the Etruscan shoes? (The artifacts and references from contemporary Greek writers)
BRAINSTORMING: Challenge students to think of English phrases that suggest consequences from different kinds of weather, e.g., "Red sky in morning, sailor's warning. Red sky at night, a sailor's delight."
"The Curve Has It," pp.26-29
ART / EVALUATION: Draw examples of Roman, Etruscan, and Scythian dress; remember that the Etruscans in particular liked color. List the advantages and disadvantages of each type of dress.
"In the Fields," p. 32
EXTENDED RESEARCH: Check out the website www.smu.edu/poggio and discover new facts about the Etruscans.
EXTENDED RESEARCH: Find other representations of Apollo: how are they different; how are they similar?
You will need a map to answer the first question. The answer to the other three questions is the same: Eritrea.
- Can you find Eritrea on the map?
- Which country is the newest nation in Africa?
- Which country in sub-Sarahan Africa is the smallest (and lies next door to the largest, Sudan)?
- Which country in Africa is the size of Pennsylvania and has mountains that reach an altitude of more than 9,000 feet and deserts that are found 200 feet below sea level?