China History Co-op. Week 3: Xia Dynasty

Week 3: We made our own pottery.

The Chinese people always believed the Xia Dynasty was a legend, until one day artifacts were found. Then archaeologists began listening to legends as a way to learn more about what life was like during that time period.

Farming began, and pottery was developed during the Xia dynasty.

Making Bowls
We created potter's wheels by taking apart fans.
The cover and blades of the fans were removed and plates were temporally hot-glued to the fans. Warning - This does work, but fans can burn out if they don't receive proper airflow to the motors and some clean-up is required.

Instead of clay salt-dough (2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup hot water, 1 tsp oil) was used. This also works, but clay is much easier to work with on a potters wheel. If too much water is added to the salt dough it becomes very mushy. Salt dough works better for pinch pots.

This was an educational project, but clay and a different form of wheels would be used if it was repeated.

At home we read the story Tikki Tikki Tembo. It is personally one of my favorites because my mother read it to me as a child. Through repeating the long musical name the legend tells the story of why the Chinese have short names.

To read more about our history activities click on one of the cultures below.


  1. how ingenious to use a fan motor I never would of thought of that:)

  2. I am so bumbed we missed this one! See you tomorrow!

  3. Working with clay is always fun! Great idea for making your own potter's wheel.

  4. Wow! I didn't realize you could make a potter's wheel that way! It looks like the kids enjoyed learning about history in such a hands-on way :)
    Thanks for linking up at Look What We Did.

  5. I had no idea you could make a potter's wheel that way, what a great idea!

  6. This is a wonderful project! How cool to make pottery at home!

  7. Thanks for sharing this on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you’ll be back again this week with some more great ideas!


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