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Bronxville Teacher Brings Ancient Egypt Alive Through His Children's Books

During a recent author visit with Bronxville Elementary School third-graders, Bronxville High School history teacher Bill Meyer read from his first book and discussed the mysteries of ancient Egypt.
During a recent author visit with Bronxville Elementary School third-graders, Bronxville High School history teacher Bill Meyer read from his first book and discussed the mysteries of ancient Egypt. Photo Credit: Bronxville Union Free School DistrictSchools

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Bronxville High School history teacher and children’s author Bill Meyer has a passion for learning and literacy, but concedes one area of interest stands apart from the rest.

Meyer, whose debut novel, “The Secret of the Scarab Beetle,” the opening story in his “Horace j. Edwards and the Time Keepers” series, said no other topic has piqued the imagination of his students as intensely as the study of ancient Egypt.

“As a result of both my students’ interest and my own childhood curiosity about the mysteries of that era, I wrote these stories,” said the author, whose second book is scheduled for publication in 2017. “In many ways the series reflects my experiences as both a kid and a teacher.”

Drawing upon the lessons on ancient Egypt he teaches his students each year, Meyer’s books are based on historical facts, and many of the characters, places, names and objects in them are real.

During a recent author visit with Bronxville Elementary School third-graders, Meyer read from his first book.

“History is alive, and we’re deeply connected to our past and our ancestors in so many incredible ways,” he said. “We study history not necessarily to learn from the mistakes of the past, but to discover some of the great secrets we have forgotten over time.”

Meyer said he views narrative and text as powerful teaching tools, and has developed a curriculum guide for Social Studies and language arts teachers to help them incorporate his book into their lessons on ancient Egypt or writing.

In furtherance of his ideas, Meyer is slated to participate in a series of conferences and workshops during the next several weeks.

During a workshop at the New York State Reading Association Monday, Nov. 14, Meyer will discuss how elementary school teachers can enhance their Social Studies curriculum through literature.

On Dec. 3, he will discuss inquiry-based learning during a workshop at the National Council for the Social Studies.

“We only learn when we are fully engaged and authentically interested in what we are doing,” he said. “Bringing writing and literacy into the history classroom is the natural next step in complicating our historic understanding and really immersing students in the topic they are learning.”

For more information on Meyer and his books, visit his website.

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