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Two children meet Curious Cat, an animated cat who asks them if they would like to find out how crayons are made. The children see where the chemicals which make crayons come from – oil. They see that oil comes from rocks underground and how it is processed to turn it into wax. They visit a crayon factory where an expert shows them the process of making crayons. Wax and another chemical are melted to make a liquid, then colour is forced together with a little bit of wax before being added to the hot wax liquid. They watch the coloured liquid wax being poured into a crayon mould and then cooled. Finally, they see the crayons being taken out and labelled in a machine.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
21 March 2012

Classroom Ideas

Could be used as part of a topic about heating and cooling or changing states. Ask pupils what they think wax crayons are made of and examine some. Use the clip to establish that wax is produced from oil. The class could research how oil is found and look at all the different ways oil is used and changed. Sponges could be used to squeeze out water to illustrate how oil is stored inside rocks. Pause the clip at each stage of the crayon-making process and get pupils to record what's happening. This could be linked to work on batik in art, where wax is melted to spread on fabric designs before hardening, as shown on the clip. Wax crayon designs and colour-mixing could be another extension idea. Pupils could explain the process to each other in pairs and re-watch the clip to check if they have explained it correctly.