This activity was so much fun – the kids loved it and I was amazed how every single one of them was happy to get their hands dirty pulling out fish guts and organs! Definitely an activity to try and do outdoors though due to the rather icky smell!
I bought 8 mackerel from a supermarket had the children work in groups of 4. I had them all sit around a single desk which worked well so they could all get a close up look (and smell!!). I gave them the opportunity to not take part if they weren’t up for it or felt sick, but they all saw it through to the end with no complaints at all!
We had previously done some work on the mummification process so the children understood the concept of what we were doing before we started. I provided each group with a diagram of the anatomy of a fish so they could try to find the different organs.
We had the canonic jars set up and children put the different organs in the corresponding canopic jar. They all had a sharp knife and a pair of scissors; I made sure I had a teaching assistant for this activity for health and safety reasons!
After the fish had been dissected the children rubbed them in salt and oils and wrapped them in linen. We stored them in small plastic boxes but in retrospect I would have put them in sarcophaguses and buried them.
It was such a memorable experience for the children and I would recommend it to anyone studying Egyptians!