Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What Does It Take to Make a Brick? Part 1

For Story of the World : Ancient Times Chapter Nine The First Cities India we started an experiment to see what combination of local dirt would make a good brick (I'm not sure if any of them will work, but it's worth a try.) I prepared cardboard frames ahead of time, and we lined them somewhat with plastic cling wrap.

We have local dirt that seems like it has a lot of clay in it, but it was WAY to hard where we are to try to dig up a significant amount. We did find two other types of dirt around our complex. Dirt A is sandy-ish and we had to sift small rocks out of it. Dirt B we got from the top of mole hills in the lawn area; it was darker and had grass roots in it. We also used sand from the sandbox (we bought the sand at the store) and dried pine needles instead of grass.

Dirt A
Dirt B

We wanted to be a scientific as we could, so we measured and recorded our mixtures.

Brick 1:
  • 1 cup water (which turned out to be WAY too much water)
  • 2 cups Dirt A
  • 1 cup sand

Brick 2:
  • 2/3 cup water (still too much water)
  • 2 cups Dirt B
  • 1 cup sand
Brick 1
Brick 2

Brick 3:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Dirt A
  • 1 cup Dirt B
  • 1 cup sand
  • some broken up pine needles
Brick 4:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Dirt A
  • 2 cups Dirt B
  • NO sand
  • some broken up pine needles
Brick 3
Brick 4

I am hoping they will dry out in 2 days (we had 80+ F weather today.) I'll post the results when we get them.

(Click here to see how they turned out!)

The brick making idea came from the Activity Book One: Ancient Times.

The links are to the author's printing press website where you can buy Story of the World directly from the author. The below pictures are links to the book on Amazon.com.

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