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Insights from the Intersection of Childhood and Education

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ancient Egypt Meets Modern Advertising

6th graders make the case for kohl (eyeliner using in
Ancient Egypt).
How can Ancient Egypt be modern? Our 6th graders found out recently when they studied what kind of cosmetics the ancient Egyptians had. They were shocked to discover that eyeliner (kohl), eyeshadow, deodorant, anti-wrinkle cream, and perfume were available 5,000 years ago.

Students were charged with picking a product and creating a commercial for it. First they researched these cosmetic products' origins and how they were used in Egypt (Hint: Don't go worshipping at the Temple at Karnak without smelling fresh as a lotus flower; the gods will not be pleased!). Then the students wrote scripts for their commercials and acted them out for each other.

The funniest part--which, perhaps, was lost on the kids--was how well-attuned they are to marketing techniques. Two commercials made use of charts, showing how their brand beat out the other leading brands. After a secret ballot vote, it seemed that anti-wrinkle cream was the product this class would most readily buy. At only two bushels of wheat per bottle, it was quite a bargain compared with what one tends to shell out for modern day beauty products.

Anti-wrinkle cream won the commercials contest...



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