Friday, August 9, 2013

Roman Tablet Tutorial

We are in our 1st week of MFW Rome to Reformation. One of the activities this week was to make a Roman tablet like school children used in Roman times. The book gives instructions using corrugated cardboard or in the Roman Empire book they suggested using balsal wood I wanted something a little simpler.

We used $1 unfinished wood frames from Michael's and non drying clay I think it was $3.59 for 4 colors which worked perfect for us.
 My father-in-law cut out some lightweight wood to fit in the frames, I used hot glue to secure them although wood glue may be better I was finishing them up last minute so hot glue worked best for me.

We then gently pressed the modeling clay into the frame and used a playdough rolling pin to make it smooth.

Make sure you save the little dowel used to prop up the frame, we sharpened them and used them as the stylus. We also used old gift cards cut in half to smooth out the clay after writing on it.
The kids decorated the frames with markers and have been enjoying them all day.

The tutorial included in the curriculum is for a diptych or double-sided tablet. You could easily use two frames and drill holes then add twine to make a double-sided tablet. We were originally going to this for the older two but when the little ones saw the clay, I tossed the idea out and just let them each make one.