3-D Clay Topographical Maps of Israel

map of israelMaking a 3-D map of The Land of Israel is a deep project. What takes time is the discussion. So many questions come up, so many connections: neighbors, borders, cities, terrain, history, Torah, politics. We never have enough time in our 30 minute art classes, but we managed to almost finish our personal maps in two meetings.

If you need a collaborative topographic map project, see my Salt Dough Map.

Today’s project was a personal topographic map, made with Model Magic on a Chinet platter. The goal was to explore Israel’s place in the world, topography, and a few cities.

First, the art room was set up with several kinds of maps, a globe, and photographs for reference.

Optional prep: I cut a template of the State of Israel from posterboard. (Yes, I had several choices as to which outline to choose, and I will not go into my decisions here. Suffice to say that we discussed borders in class so that the kids knew that not everyone agrees on where the borders should be.)

The posterboard template lets kids pick it up while they are smooshing the Model Magic around, pulling high ground, hollowing the Dead Sea.

Then, they glued the template to the Chinet platter, crayoned neighboring borders (Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, Jordan, etc.), and watercolored Israel.

Jerusalem was marked with a gold Mogen David (spray-painted Jewish star pasta).

Budget: If Model Magic is not in your budget, salt dough is cheap and the kids can mix it themselves (equal parts flour and salt with “enough” water). They can paint the dough while it is wet or dry.

I do not recommend Crayola Air Dry Clay because it is not formulated to survive and by golly it doesn’t. Creations will crack and eventually crumble from the inside out.



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