Thursday, November 25, 2010

Digging up Sue at the Field Museum

We had such an awesome day at the Field Museum on the 17th of this month. I had originally brought the idea up to the kids a few weeks ago when we read Sunset of the Sabretooth and learned more about the Ice Age. The Field Museum has a great exhibit called the Evolving Planet that holds lots of prehistoric fossils.

Before heading to that exhibit, though, we went through the Ancient Egypt exhibit - a permanent fixture at the Field. I've written before about how what we get out of things, whether they be books, movies or experiences, changes every time we go back to them because we are a new person each day (or should be!).  Since I truly believe this, you'd think I shouldn't have been surprised at how different the kids were in the Egypt exhibit than they were last year. I really didn't think they'd like it since they just ran through it last year, but I was very much surprised at how much they enjoyed it. I knew I would. I've been reading through the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters.  It's about an amature Egyptologist in the late 1800-early 1900s and is also a mystery series. I love it!

The kids love, love, love Scooby Doo movies. Unfortunately, this caused a little problem when Alexa learned we were going to see a real mummy. I had to hold her clinging to me since she thought there would be mummies that would chase her like in the last Scooby Doo movie she saw. After a while, she calmed down and actually wanted to look inside the case. Did you know the word "mummy" actually came from an Arabic word mumiyah which means "body preserved by wax or bitumen." When the Europeans saw the Arabs point at the preserved body and say "mumiyah," they thought that was the name for it. After a while the word was shorted to "mummy".

Here's Jared seeing if he could pull a 500 pound limestone block on a wooden sleigh...

...and the kids trying to balance Egyptian weights on a scale.

We went for a short time to the Crown Family Playlab where the kids gravitated towards the adobe hut and dinosaur sections. The man who ran the front information desk told me about the lending program the museum has, and I soon found out he was homeschooled growing up. We even talked about the In-Home Conference held in March in St. Charles, Illinois where he often speaks. Very cool.

After a quick lunch, we walked upstairs to the IMAX theater to watch the 3-D movie "Walking the T-Rex," which tells the story of the discovery of Sue, the most in-tact Tyrannosaurus Rex in the world, up until her unveiling in 2000 at the Field Museum. It was a really great movie that I highly recommend.

Afterwards, we walked through the Evolving Planet exhibit and checked out some prehistoric fossils. The first picture below is of a saber tooth tiger, but I can't remember what the other picture was.

And then before we left, we took a close-up view of "Sue" which was so much more meaningful since we finished learning all about her.

What is your favorite museum to visit?

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