Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Salt dough maps

Every couple of terms we choose a different country to learn about. It's been a fantastic way of learning and we cover loads of different aspects of learning: geography, history, food, lifestyle, natural resources, human rights, clothes, culture, nature, wildlife, ecological factors, religions, politics, economics, and many other things. We've looked at Turkey, Brazil and Australia so far and this term we have been learning about Saudi Arabia.

Last week, we decided to have a go at making a 3D map of Saudi Arabia, in order to understand the country's terrain more and also to learn about physical mapping. This is our journey in salt dough mapping!

We went to a local pizza takeaway and they kindly gave us a couple of large pizza boxes which we used to build the maps in. This means we can move them and store them easily.
We printed out a map outline of Saudi Arabia and then drew around it in the base of the pizza box.

The children then made a batch of salt dough each: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of cream of tartar.

They mixed the dough together well.

They then used a small amount of dough to cover the shape of the country.

Using a physical map of Saudi Arabia as a guide, they gradually built up the contours of the terrain.

They then left the map to dry for a couple of days in a warm place. 
Once dry, the maps were painted, starting with the lowest land areas. 

Using a physical map atlas as a guide, the differing land heights were painted different colours. This part took a lot of concentration!

Areas of water were then painted (no rivers, as there aren't any in Saudi Arabia!) The surrounding countries were painted a neutral colour.

Finally, a key was added which shows the varying height of the land and depth of the sea.

The finished maps! So much hard work and loads of fun went into this activity, with many different things being learnt.

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