So far, this lesson has proved to be the most interesting of all our virtual “field trips”. Besides taking an overall look at the topography itself, we have been able to spend a little time talking about world views and religion.
Aside from our usual National Geographic Kids lesson, I wanted to spend a little extra time exploring the history of Islamic conquest throughout Europe and the Middle East. It was interesting to see how much influence the culture had on architecture, language, arithmetic, and so much more.
To help us remember Persia’s contribution to the written word, we pulled out this fantastic recipe for clay and made a few cuneiform. (I wish I could say I came up with this awesome clay recipe all by myself, but my girlfriend shared it with us. She is very crafty!)
2 cups baking soda
1 ¼ cup water
1 cup cornstarch
Mix the baking soda and cornstarch in a saucepan. Slowly add water into and stir over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Once it’s almost the same thickness as play dough, remove from heat and dump onto a clean surface. Cover with a dish towel until cool. Once cool, knead the dough until smooth and start forming the dough. Once your creation is finished, tuck them into an oven at 250 degrees and let them dry for two hours. Paint them once they’re dry and enjoy your art!
While letting our cuneiform clay cool, we headed into the kitchen and made Salt Crackers (Salt Cookies). Now, be forewarned; these aren’t your typical cookies. They actually taste rather bland and have a gingerbread essence to them (if that makes sense). We did make a go of it though and exploring was the goal. No one said we had to like the recipes, just that we give them a shot.
Using the left over dry vanilla, we thought we would finish up the box and make a batch of custard to enjoy with our cookies.
After lunch, we tucked our cuneiform into the oven to dry and tried both our food experiments (as have never had custard before). Unfortunately, neither met with success. Our kids don’t like pudding/custard it seems (too sweet?) and the crackers did nothing for them.
Oh, well! It was fun making them and learning a little more about a country we knew very little about.