Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Civil War Battles–Salt Dough Map

The Shenandoah Valley had a LOT of battles during the Civil War, both large and small.  I thought it would be a great learning tool to make a salt dough map of the various, bigger battlefields.  I’m sharing a little tutorial with you here, and showing off our handiwork, grins.

First mix together equal parts of flour and salt.  We used 4 cups of each, but should have gone with 2 cups.  Add water and stir like wild, adding more water as needed.  Your end result should be the same consistency as Play-Doh.


I had a map of the Shenandoah Valley, so I covered it with a piece of parchment paper and traced the outline.


The girls then used the salt dough to fill in the outline.   Once this part was completed they added the mountains to the outer edges of the valley, as well as Massanutten Mountain in the center.



Once the mountains and surround area were added, we inserted toothpicks into the areas of the major battles.   This then went into a 200 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  Depending on the thickness of your dough you may need to bake longer, or even less.  You’ll know its done with you push on the thicker areas and it doesn’t “give”.

Once the map had cooled, the girls used acrylics to paint the mountains, valley and both the north and south fork of the Shenandoah River.


We read about the larger battles and then added the names of the battles in grey for Confederate victories, and blue for Union victories.



The girls then had an opportunity to share what they’d learned with my brother when he visited.  He was surprised at how much they were able to tell him about each battle and the commanding officers for each side, numbers of troops involved and of course who claimed the victory.

We’re DEFINETLY making more maps in the future!

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