Science KS1/KS2: How are crayons made?

At the crayon factory the children see where the chemicals which make crayons comes from – oil.

They see that oil comes from rocks underground and how it's processed to turn it into wax.

An expert at the factory 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 is from the series: Curious Cat TV, Bricks, Crayons

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used as part of a topic about heating and cooling or changing states.

You could ask your pupils what they think wax crayons are made of and examine some.

Then 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.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Science at KS1 and KS2 in England and Foundation Phase in Wales.

Also Foundation and KS1 in Northern Ireland and Early/1st/2nd levels in Scotland.

More from the series: Curious Cat

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Science KS1/KS2: How is paper made?
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Science KS1/KS2: How is glass made?
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Science KS1/KS2: How are TV programmes made?
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Science KS1/KS2: How is steel made?
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Science KS1/KS2: How is wool made?
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Science KS1/KS2: How are bricks made?
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