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 information about how to use and build earth ovens. Especially interviewing with grandparents are important.

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

3. Children will decide the best place to build the oven. Things to consider: dangerous situations – to save place - smoke might disturb neighbours - not in a place where rainwater collect - any other things to consider? Draw a map (plan) 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 set fire.

5. Children will do research for prices of Harma stones - Gas stones - Fire stones - Schamott - Clay - Earth - Straw (1/4 straw bale)

6. Children can visit a Pottery place and do research about the clay.

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

8. The children should carry all materials by themselves from the service buses to the place of the construction using a wheel barrow.

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

• building a basement with wooden blocks and the top part with the gas stones

• sticking the fire stones on the top of the basement using Schamott

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

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

• making sure that the entrance will be supported (use a solid bucket) and the Harma stones are 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 then take out the bucket and empty the inside of the oven ( take out the sand)

• during the following days, burn a small fire in the oven in order to dry its 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.