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In this activity, students investigate some of the properties of clay such as moisture content, shrinkage and strength.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • identify by appearance and texture the clay types kaolinearthenware and bull clay
  • determine the water loss that occurs when clays are firstly dried and then heated in a kiln
  • describe how shrinkage in clays occurs
  • state some of the changes that occur when clay is fired
  • effectively use top-loading balances.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • instructions on what you need and what to do
  • discussion questions
  • ideas for extending your students
  • student worksheet.
    Published 27 April 2010