September 12, 2007

Move Over, Chicken Mummies!

Well, the chicken mummies have lost their place of prominence on the refrigerator (although they are still there).


They now have to share with the current project: salt dough maps of an imaginary land. Tapestry of Grace suggests making these to learn geography terms at the beginning of the year. The kids made them last week. We are letting them dry and will paint them tomorrow or Friday.

For this project, I had Nathan look up all of the suggested geography terms online and find pictures to go with them. He put all of that into a Word document and we printed it out to use as a reference. I think I would suggest using Enchanted Learning's Landforms glossary instead, although it was very helpful to have real photos to look at. Nathan did a great job!

Since we have gone over geography landforms before, I let the kids choose 7-10 landforms to include on their maps. I bought each student a cookie sheet from the Dollar Store that we will reuse. In hindsight, I should have put cardboard down so that we could remove the maps from the cookie sheet. Maybe we'll just take pictures or save one of them for the Unit Celebration instead of keeping them all. You can also use cardboard or heavy paper. I have seen a picture of a map done in a disposable foil baking pan.

The kids made their landforms and labeled them on popsicle sticks. You are supposed to insert toothpicks and make labels out of sticky address labels or paper to stick on them, but I didn't have any toothpicks! The maps take about a week to dry, and then we will paint them with poster paints or tempera paint. I'll add those pictures to this post when we're done.

To do a salt dough map of a specific geographical area (country, continent, etc.), just print out an outline map on card stock and have your child shape the dough using the base map as a guide. You should use an atlas to help locate rivers, oceans, mountains, and other landforms. The student should use the dough to shape these landforms onto the map. Stick toothpicks into the areas of the map to be labeled and add labels to the toothpicks after the map is painted and dried.

Free stuff for this project:

Salt Dough Landforms: This web page has a recipe for the salt dough and explains how to do a similar landform project

Enchanted Learning's Illustrated Glossary: Landforms and Bodies of Water: This is a large list of landforms to teach using this project.

Geography Resources: This is the link to free geography resources that I have posted about. You will find some links to outline maps there.


  1. Oh, cool, I love to see what you have on top of the fridge. I have not been by in a while, I like the new look. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    As soon as I get a camera there will be lots of pictures


  2. Every time I come over here I find something really useful for me at that time. I am supposed to be teaching a Geography class at our co-op group. It seemed like a great idea that I had come up with, but I was going to write my own unit study. I think these ideas and links are going to be just what I needed! Thanks again.

  3. I love these salt dough project links! Great find for us. Your page is so eloquently done. I love the template you used...I make my own templates so I don't have all the pretty victorian pictures to use.

    Come back again,


  4. Wow-this looks really interesting. And thanks for all the links. Your blog is so beautiful to look at! I enjoy reading your BFS assignments, too. Holly