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Alaska is filled with natural wonders. None are more magnificent than glaciers. Discover how these enormous mountains of ice form, move, drop into the ocean, and change the face of the Earth.
Glaciers are made of fallen snow that, over many years, weighs itself down into a huge mass of ice. Because they are so huge, glaciers flow like very slow rivers. Find out more about glaciers and their effects on the Earth’s surface. Research the impact of global warming. Study pictures and then sculpt a replica of a "river of ice."
To make a free-form base for the glacier, press out a ball of Crayola Air-Dry Clay on a clean, dry paper plate. Leave the edges rough if you like or smooth them with a dampened finger. To create a flat base, roll out clay with a rolling pin and cut it with a clay tool or plastic knife.
These are some sculpting ideas to try. Mix and match them to form a own unique glacier. Dampen the surface before pressing two pieces of clay together. Make a gift plaque like the sample. Or make a labeled replica suitable for a science fair display.
Roll or press and cut slabs of clay to form rugged snow-capped mountains in the background. Form moving glaciers with irregular slabs of clay. Use textured items such as shells or rocks to impress the surface. Embed small pebbles in the glacier for a realistic look.
Use modeling tools to create a ripple effect on the ocean in the foreground. Add bits of clay to show the glacier calving into the water. If the glacier is for a science fair display, embed toothpicks to attach paper labels to identify the glacier’s parts.
To make a plaque, roll coils and twist them to create a border. Cut out letters or use coils of clay to create words such as Alaska, which is where most glaciers are found. While the clay is wet, use a large paper clip to poke two holes in the top of the plaque to hang it.
Paint the glacier when it is still wet with Washable Watercolors. Fill a brush with paint and gently wash the color on the clay. Air-dry the glacier for at least 3 days.
Thread heavy cord or ribbon through the holes to tie and hang. Students display their plaques to help understand the impact of global warming.
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