In my class, we began our study of ancient Egypt last month. We always start out with maps galore because, as I tell my kids, any good Egyptologist will know the lay of the land before he starts excavating for facts. After maps, it's on to the importance of the Nile River. Herodotus called Egypt "the gift of the Nile" and rightly so. The annual inundation (flood) meant that the ancient Egyptians had to be quite advanced in their systems of irrigation. One method used then and still used today was the shaduf.
Two of my boys made a life size shaduf over the weekend and we tried it out down at the creek by the 100 Acre Woods.
The boys and their helpers set it up...
Dipping the bucket into the water...
"Who knows why you have to put a weight on the other end of the pole that holds the bucket?"
"So that the bucket doesn't pull the whole thing down."
"The weight on the other end balances out the weight of the water because water is heavy."
"It makes the pole easier to lift once the water is in the bucket."
And voila! The kids learn about leverage.
Next, mummifying a chicken....