Building an Earth Oven at Istanbul International Community School

A step by step tutorial...

Below you can find the activities for the lesson plan. The project can be taken over by one class or several classes can cooperate together.

1. Children will gain informations for the use and building techniques of earth ovens. Especially interviews with grandparents are important.

2. Children will present their knowledge in a presentation to other classes and as well to the entire staff of the school (especially gardener, security, etc.)

3. Children will decide where the best place for the oven will be. Reasons for the decision: dangerous situations - save place- smoke might disturb neighbors - not in a place where rainwater collects…. any other reasons? Draw a map (kroki) of the school yard and mark the oven construction area.

4. Children will make an Earth Oven model out of clay and after it is dry they can lighten a fire .

5.Children will research for prices of Harma stones (70) - Gas stones (9) - Fire stones (12) - Schamott (1 bag) - Clay (2 bags) - Earth (2 bags) - Straw (1/4 straw bale)

6. Children can visit a Pottery place in Cengelköy (Hassan Usta) and do research about the clay.

7. Children can buy the stones and Schamott in a construction center (Insaat Malzemeler)

8. The children should carry by themselves all materials from the busses to the place of the construction with a wheel barrow.

9. The construction can start under good weather conditions (check the internet!)

• building a basement (fundament) with wooden blocks and on the top with the gas stones

• sticking the fire stones on the top of the basement by (use Schamott)

• building the first wall with Harma stones around the fire stones (use Schamott)

• filling the space on the fire stones with newspaper and than a dome of sand

• making sure that the entrance will be supported (use a solid bucket) and the Harma stones well placed

• build a dome with the Harma stones by taking the support of the sand (Schamott)

• fill all holes very well with the Schamott.

• mix clay-earth-straw-water very well with your feet

• apply the mixture (=kerpic) on the oven and cover it carefully

• design the surface of the oven with mosaics or figures

• let the kerpic dry for 5-10 days (according to size of oven and weather) and than take out the bucket as well empty the inside of the oven (sand)

• during the following days burn a small fire in the oven in order to dry it inside and outside

• apply a door in the entrance

• build a roof against rain in order to protect the oven

• the oven can be painted/ decorated with chalk and clay mixtures

To avoid accidents while the oven is hot, make a fence around the oven.