Museum Chaperone Guide Sample

This sample is an actual chaperone guide for a Bible class field trip to the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, GA. While the museum is not a Bible museum, it does have artifacts from Bible times and cultures. This sample demonstrates how to help chaperones and parents navigate the museum and easily find objects that a Bible class teacher would want her/his students to see on a field trip. It also contains talking points so adults know what to say about the various objects to the children they are accompanying through the museum. The Treasure Hunt document can be found under the Volunteer Training Resources tab on our website You can adapt this guide to reflect the artifacts in the museum you have chosen.

Chaperone Guide to Michael C. Carlos Museum Bible Class Field Trip

While not a Bible museum, the Michael C Carlos Museum has many artifacts from Bible times and cultures. Seeing these artifacts can help young Bible students better understand what they read in the Bible, improve memory of important Bible stories and underscore the historicity of the accounts in the Bible.

Different students have had varying experiences with museums. For some, this will be their first museum visit. Other children are experienced museum visitors. Some children love looking at artifacts, while others may appear bored by them. The treasure hunt is designed to engage students with some of the exhibits. Your room by room guide below has treasure hunt artifacts marked with an *. You will need to spend a little more time at these artifact displays in order for your students to answer the questions. Don’t just give them the answer, but encourage them to dig deeper and find the answers themselves. (Please note that museums often change their exhibits. This guide is accurate as of February 2024. The museum has employees in most galleries who can help you locate items that have been moved.)

There are many more artifacts in this guide than on their treasure hunt sheets. All are important artifacts and we have included a little information about their significance and any scriptures in which they may be mentioned. Use your best judgment as to how long you spend discussing each artifact. Your students will often reflect your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) about the various items, so get excited about what you are sharing with them!

If there are several groups on the field trip, you may want to reverse the order and start at the end in order to put more space between yourself and the other groups. A map of the museum has been attached for your convenience. All of the items in your guide and on the treasure hunt are in the area circled on the museum map. If you have extra time, you are welcome to explore other areas of the museum with your group. Please note, however, that not all exhibits are appropriate for children.

Please have students show Ms. Susie their completed treasure hunt sheets in order to receive a special surprise.

Greek and Roman Art Main Gallery

  • ●  * Relief with draped woman- example of female dress (a few decades before the birth of Jesus)
  • ●  Statue of Roman god Mercury – one of many idols from various cultures in the museum. Young children may not understand that idols were mainly statues of

various sizes and shapes that people worshiped instead of the real God. These

false gods were not real entities and had no power.

  • ●  * Statue of Togatus – wealthy Roman (male clothing), holding a scroll and having asignet ring on his left hand. Signet rings were mentioned several times in the Bible. They were used to make impressions that proved the authenticity of a document.
  • ●  Ploughman – man plowing a field with oxen and a pulled plow. How people would have plowed fields in Bible times. Many children have never seen a field plowed, much less with an old fashioned oxen pulled plow.
  • ●  Funeral Relief with Banquet Scene – shows how banquets looked during Bible times.
  • ●  * Tiberius – Roman Emperor during much of the life of Jesus 14-37 A.D.
  • ●  Mosaic Floor (on wall) – floors in fancy homes and public buildings weredecorated with mosaic tiles. Notice how much work it would have taken to create one (by hand).First Room to the Left in Greek and Roman Art Gallery Second Case on the Left
  • ●  #2 Roman (false) god Zeus
  • ●  #5 Crosses from the first few hundred years of Christianity. Children may notrealize Christianity has only existed since the Day of Pentecost, a little less than2000 years ago.
  • ●  #16, #17 Christograms. These are intertwined letters that were symbols forChristianity. The earliest ones were the Greek letters chi and rho for the first twoletters of Christ.
  • ●  #20 Statue of gladiator. Gladiators fought in Roman venues to entertain thepeople. These battles often resulted in death. Early Christians were often put todeath in these “entertainment” spectacles – often in extremely harsh ways.
  • ●  #24 (Virgin) Mary – Although we don’t know what Mary actually looked like, manyartists have created artworks featuring her.
  • ●  #26 Baptism of Jesus – Many artists have created works of art depicting stories inthe Bible. Some have obvious mistakes in them (like inaccurate clothing styles ora change in the actual story).
  • ●  * Roman nails – These are probably similar to the ones used to crucify Jesus.Those used in crucifixions were usually 5-7 inches long and about 1⁄2 inch in diameter.Rear Case on the Right
  • ●  #1 Alexander the Great – The dream Daniel had in Daniel 2:40-43 described the Empire of Alexander the Great so accurately (200 hundred years before he lived), that when he came to Jerusalem to conquer (or possibly destroy) it, the priests

showed him the scroll of Daniel predicting his Empire. It was clear enough that, according to Josephus, Alexander recognized it was referring to him and left Jerusalem unscathed. (Note: This room opens to the Indigenous American Exhibit. Return to the main gallery to continue.)

Second Room on the Left in Main Gallery

  • ●  Greek pottery – The culture of Jesus was still heavily influenced by the earlier Greek Empire. Pottery was one way people in many cultures decorated – like dishes are used today. Notice the different style and colors used in different areas and time periods in this gallery and throughout the museum.First Room to the Right in the Main Gallery
  • ●  More styles and varieties of pottery
  • ●  (Mini case) Greek jewelry from several,hundred years before ChristSecond Case
  • ●  Greek perfume bottles shaped like animals. Perfume was often expensive in ancient times and was kept in decorative containers just like today. The New Testament contains the story of someone becoming very upset because a woman poured a bottle of expensive perfume on Jesus. The critic believed she should have sold the perfume to get the money to do something “better”. Jesus disagreed.Mini Case and Third Case (#4, 5 and 6)
  • ●  Fibula – These were decorative pieces of metal that fastened the piece of clothing called a mantle at the shoulder (a mantle was basically just a length of cloth that had to be wrapped to cover the body). Fibula were often decorative.Back of Room
  • ●  *Giant Amphora (Jug) – This jug was similar in size to the one Jesus used in his first miracle of turning water into wine. It is estimated to have held between 120 and 150 gallons and would have been partially sunken into the ground to make it easier to serve from.Fifth Case
  • ●  #2 Idol from Greece (Old Testament times)Second Room on the Right from Main Gallery

Second Case

  • ●  #2 Discus – Paul mentions athletic contests in some of his writings. The modern Olympic Games actually started in Ancient Greece.
  • ●  #3 Olive wreath – Olive wreaths were worn by people who won athletic contests, were orators, priests (of idols), in dramas and were awarded for merit and military conduct. Olive trees are mentioned multiple times in the Bible. Interesting fact: Olives aren’t picked from the tree like an apple. Evidently they are incredibly difficult to harvest that way. Instead, nets are placed below the tree and ripe olives fall onto the net. Often the trees are shaken to encourage olives to fall more quickly.
  • ●  #10 Axe head. This would be similar to the one Elisha made miraculously float when it fell into the river and sank. (Many children have never seen an axe head.)Mini Case
  • ●  Tetradrachm coins which were Greek coins worth four drachma. In the Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8), the coin that was lost was a drachma. (Sixth case contains more Greek coins.)Third Case
  • ●  Siglos of Xerxes – Xerxes was the King in the book of Esther. This is an image of Xerxes on a Persian coin.Map of Egypt of Floor Between Greek and Egyptian Galleries
  • ●  * Note that the map of Egypt is a bit counterintuitive. Lower Egypt is in the North (closest to the Greek Gallery) of Egypt because the Nile river flows to the North towards the Mediterranean Sea. Upper Egypt is actually Southern Egypt. We would tend to guess that Upper and Lower Egypt are the reverse of what they actually are. We also tend to think of water that flows South to North as going upstream and not the “normal” way a river flows. Those types of rivers do exist in the United States, but are less common.First Room to Left in Egyptian Gallery
  • ●  Pottery – note the styles compared to Greek and Roman pottery
  • ●  Hieroglyphics on the false door of Hepeti – Hieroglyphics would have the writingthat both Joseph and Moses would have read when they lived in Egypt

Third Case

  • ●  #3 Headrest – Although they look very uncomfortable to us, the Egyptians used these like we use pillows. Upon his promotion Joseph and Moses (when he was being raised by Pharaoh’s daughter) probably slept using a headrest for a pillow.Fourth Case
  • ●  * Head of Amenemhat III – Because the Egyptian chronology that was accepted for many years has turned out to be highly inaccurate, it is difficult to know for sure who was Pharaoh in some of the earlier Egyptian stories in the Bible. (The later stories involving Pharaohs during the Kings of Israel and Judah are often named in the Bible.) Some scholars believe Amenemhat III was the Pharaoh whose daughter found baby Moses floating in the basket and raised him.Fifth Case
  • ●  #3 Stamp seal
  • ●  Another depiction of the head of Amenemhat IIIMain Egyptian GalleryFirst Case on Left
  • ●  #5 Magic wand – possibly similar to the ones used by the Egyptians in the early plagues when they copied/tried to copy the plagues.Second Room to the Left From Main Gallery First Case
  • ●  #4 Nile god – The plagues involving the Nile River were thought to have shown that God was more powerful than the false Nile god.Another head of Amenemhat III
    Continue Through to Next Room
    Case Marked “Writing”This case contains cuneiform and hieroglyphic writings. Both would have been featured in the Bible. Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Hittites in the Bible wrote using cuneiform, while Egyptians used hieroglyphics.

Case Marked “Weights and Measures”

This case contains more examples of cuneiform tablets. Typically cuneiform was written with a stylus on clay tablets. There is also a weight called a mina that is in the Parable of the Minas in Luke 19:11-27. In Ezekiel 45:12 a mina was a weight that was approximately 60 shekels or around 20 ounces (a pound is 16 ounces). By the New Testament a mina was considered money and was worth 100 denari or about four months wages.

Case Marked “Metallurgy”

This case contains various weapons from Bible times like a dagger, spearheads, etc. It also contains a shekel coin which is mentioned multiple times in the Bible. A shekel was a Jewish coin worth 4 denarii, a Roman coin or 4 Drachma, a Greek coin. It was worth about $50 in our currency.

Next Room With The Levant Mini Case

  • ●  False goddessesFirst Case
  • ●  Clay bowls like those used in the Bible.Second Case
  • ●  Jars
  • ●  #11 Clay lamp- like those used in the Bible. They would have contained oil and awick that was lit to provide light. Children may not realize there was no electricityin Bible times and that oil lamps were their lighting.
  • ●  #13-18 CoinsNext Room
    Case Marked “Deities and Magic”
  • ●  #1 Canaanite idol. After leaving Egypt and wandering in the desert for forty years, the Israelites entered Canaan and settled there. The Canaanites were idol worshippers and this is one of the idols they worshiped.

Case Marked “Day in the Life of a Scribe”

This case contains a *model of a typical house during Bible times. Notice the flat roof mentioned in several Bible stories. Most of these homes had one to four rooms with a shared sleeping space.

Case Marked “Trade and Interconnections”

  • ●  #9 Jar handle from the time of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was one of the “good” kings of Judah. The prophet Isaiah prophesied to Hezekiah and Hezekiah is known for two very interesting Bible stories as well building a long tunnel that brought water from one side of Jerusalem to the other.Case Marked “The Achaemenid Persians”
  • ●  #1 Jug inscribed to Artaxerxes, the son of King Xerxes in Esther. (Note: There is no evidence Esther was his mother.)
  • ●  #2 Persian guards. They would have been special soldiers mentioned in the book of Esther.
  • ●  #4 Cuneiform tablet
  • ●  #8 DaggerLarge Fragment on Wall Neo Assyrian King SennacheribNineveh was the capital of Assyria. King Sennacherib battled Judah and it is recorded in both the Bible and the records of King Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13-15, Isaiah 36:1). He was the son of Sargon II who took the tribes of the Northern Kingdom Israel into captivity. *Look over and up to see the head of a lion, the symbol of the Assyrian Empire. To the right, you can see a case filled with various seals and amulets. Amulets were considered good luck charms in much of the ancient world and would not have been used by faithful Jews.Next Room First Case

● Animal mummies. The Egyptians were buried with everything they might need in the afterlife. They believed they even had to take food with them, as nothing would be provided. Christians, on the other hand, believe God will provide for any need we may have in Heaven and we don’t need to be buried with anything.

Third Case

  • ●  Sodium carbonate salt mix used in mummification, sometimes known as natron (halite, trona and sodium sulfate). These mixtures were also used for medicine and in glass making, cooking and agriculture.
  • ●  “Dummy” canopic jars – The organs were removed from a body being mummified and stored in canopic jars in the tomb. It was assumed the organs would be put back into the body in the afterlife.Next Little RoomIn the last case there is a figure standing over an open box. Inside the box, you can see a tiny papyrus scroll. Many early “books” were written on papyrus scrolls. The only reason any have survived is because the climate was so dry in Egypt the papyrus was not as likely to mold or rot. You can still see damage that has occurred over time on the scroll.Mummy RoomThese *mummies are from time periods after the Israelites would have left Egypt, but the processes were still similar to those that would have been used on the bodies of Jacob and Joseph when they died in Egypt. In fact, they are the only two people mentioned in the Bible as having been made into mummies (although the word mummy is not used). It is possible that since both wanted to be buried back in the family cave and Joseph knew it would be a very long time until his body would be moved that mummification was used to make the bodies easier to transport without disturbing them. Or it might have been because as an Egyptian authority figure Joseph and his family would have been automatically mummified, as was the custom.

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