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social studies software
Breaking the Code is software that teaches children to interpret hieroglyphics. The program presents information about the Rosetta Stone and Bankes Obelisk and discusses the work of scientists who have decoded hieroglyphics. In addition, the program describes the stories and roles of important Egyptian gods and goddesses. A secondary objective of the program is to improve children's typing skills. The program folder also includes a small number of related lesson plans for teachers.
Breaking the Code has a main menu, which users can use to select between three chapters. The first chapter is about hieroglyphic phonograms. The second chapter describes Egyptian gods and goddesses and also gives children experience with decoding hieroglyphics. The third chapter discusses the legend of the goddess Osiris. Once again, students must decipher information encoded in hieroglyphics. The software includes: 1) a test for students to assess the knowledge they have acquired 2) a mechanism by which children can write letters in hieroglyphics on their word processors, and 3) links to several web sites on Ancient Egypt and hieroglyphics.
There are several icon characters that appear when a user navigates through the program. For example, Thoth is the Egyptian god of scribes. Kids must click on a symbol depicting Thoth to print any screens. Anubis the Jackal guards the entrance to the Egyptian underworld. Users must click on his icon to exit the program.
Unfortunately, the program does not discuss the ethical controversies surrounding the permanent transfer of Egyptian artifacts to European museums, nor the consequences of looting Egyptian monuments by locals and foreigners alike.
The only downside of the program's interface is that a user has to scroll through all the general instructions every time the software is opened.
PC: Windows3.1, Windows 95, 486 or faster processor, 150MB hard drive space, 16MB RAM, SVGA display, 24x or faster CD-ROM, MPC-compliant sound card .return to top of page
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