This year for 4th grade we’ve been studying California history.  We decided it was time to break out of textbook mode and make history come alive.  So we jumped elbow deep into some messy projects.  Our first is a relief map of the state of California that we are making from a flour and salt dough mixture.

We talk about how the Indians settled in the different parts of California.  Then we mostly chat about the geography of the state- its regions and how vastly different one part is from the next…

She forms the coastal mountain ranges with a bit of extra dough.

In the end, our California is pretty lumpy, but I think it proves just how mountainous it can be (besides its valleys, oceans, lakes, and rivers, along with its stark climate changes from one region to the next).

Meanwhile, our little preschooler is enjoying some playdough fun of her own.  We added a bit of food coloring and off she went to make “pancakes”.

If you’d like to watch the video on our California history salt dough relief map, that’s available here as well.