Molding Ohio

Assistant Managing Editor
Using their fingers to mold salt clay into hills and flatten it into plains, gave Wapakoneta Elementary School fourth-graders a 3-D look at their home state.
“They can actually see what it looks like,” their social studies teacher Connie Ferenbaugh said.
While students had seen a lot of different representations of Ohio in pictures and books and online, she said this project lets them actually see the state and understand its terrain up close.
“We’ve talked about Ohio and what the land of Ohio looks like,” Ferenbaugh told the students before they started the project in class on Tuesday.
“Manipulate the clay so it shows how Ohio looks,” she said as she talked with students about how the land was carved by a glacier.
The culmination of a month’s lessons in their geography units, students first drew maps of Ohio and then sectioned them off into the bumpy and hilly Appalachian Plateau of southeastern Ohio, and the flat, thin areas of the lake and till plains in northern and western Ohio.
“Ohio has a very definite shape,” Ferenbaugh told the students. “Cover the entire map.”
At the end of the week, students will be painting their relief maps.
Pointing to her map, Jillian Price said the land forms they created with the clay showed how the glacier came through and made this part of the state flat and the southeastern part of the state higher.
“It all used to be the same,” fourth-grader Lydia Cottrell said.
“Feeling all the hills helps us get a better picture of what the state looks like,” she said as she ran her fingers along Ohio’s hills.