Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tennessee-ya Soon!

Making our Tennessee topographical maps
Tonight has been one of those nights you never think about when you're a kid. I have been running around town tonight getting materials ready for (and then making 26 bags of) salt clay.  I always assumed all of the science experiments, hands-on activities, and interactive models we made at school just appeared. I never thought about the teachers running to Kroger for the THIRD time in one night just to buy another container of salt. I even had Mr. J in the kitchen in an assembly line kneeding the clay and packaging it into baggies. I love that guy. Granted, I had to constantly stop him from making clay poodles, airplanes, and other inappropriate shapes, but I was thankful for the help.

The plan is that we will be forming this clay into a topigraphical model of Tennessee. We'll be making the models tomorrow and then painting them on Friday. 

Here is the recipe I used:
4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. salt
1 1/2 c. water

  1. Mix the salt and flour in a bowl.
  2. Add water gradually to form a ball.
  3. Knead (pound, roll and pull) until it no longer falls apart.
  4. Do your project and allow it to dry at room temperature for approximately 2 day (more for larger or thinker projects).
  5. Paint
  6. Store any unused clay in a sealed bag in the fridge. Allow it to warm to room temperature before you use it again.
Painting the regions once dry!
Lessons learned:
My hands are SUPER dry (could it be the cups of SALT? Hm, toughie)
It was more like 2 cups of water
Dogs will vomit immediately after consuming any tiny balls of dough that fall on the floor and THEN if you're not paying attention you'll step in it. Awesome.

I'm really hoping that it hardens. So I'll either be writing a happy review on Friday or I'll be cursing the gods of clay for how they fooled me yet again (re: bad volcano experience of 2009).
<fingers crossed>
Proud of the final products!
Mrs. J


  1. You need to keep posting on your blog! I just found it.. you are so funny and have great ideas! Post more of your activities. I am a special ed teacher too. (3-5, CDC and Resource- East Tennessee)

  2. I just saw this comment! I'm planning on starting up again as soon as our school year starts up (July 5th)! TCAP testing kind of threw me for a loop and I got out of the habit. I'm glad to know you enjoy my blog (and that you're in East Tennessee!). Enjoy your summer break!