Sunday, June 2, 2024

Stories of Household Items

Super excited about our June topic, Stories of Household Items! Our main text is It's Fun to Know Why: Experiments with Things Around Us by Julius Schwartz. This is an excellent vintage book that is well worth tracking down.


Here are my thoughts about pacing (this is a draft... don't hold me to it!) and some more books on my shelf that would be a good fit. This kind of listmaking always helps me when I organize my thoughts about a block.

Of course, I will go back and update my notes after teaching each day!


Week 1 - The Story of Clothing

Mon - wool

    Where Did My Clothes Come From? by Chris Butterworth

    hands-on activity:
    washing raw wool sheared from my brother's sheep (Shadow)

    "Wool - Fleece for Man" chapter
    in It's Fun to Know Why, pp.62-74

      Heat Preserver
      hot water, 3 small covered jars, 1 wool sock, 1 cotton sock

      A Blanket of Air
      2 in square wool cloth, 2 in square cotton cloth, 2 glasses, pencil, water

      Stretch and Spring / Pull and Twist
      12 inch length worsted weight wool yarn

    an extra story we did not read:
    A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert


Tue - cotton

    hands-on activity:
    tyeing yarn in hanks, dyeing yarn in sun jars (with coffee)
    plus... opportunities to try carding, knitting, weaving

    Cotton by Millicent Selsam
    finding the seeds in a cotton boll

    A Beetle Is Shy by Dianna Hutts Aston (boll weevil illustration)

    teacher background information:
    Boll Weevil
    The Boll Weevil Song

    an extra story we did not read:
    The Story Book of Science by Jean-Henri Fabre
    FREE online at Project Gutenberg
    chapter XVII "Cotton"


Wed - silk


Thu - rubber


Week 2 - The Story of Trash

Mon - trash


Tue - paper


Wed - plastic


Thu - soap


Week 3 - The Story of Food

Mon - salt


Tue - oils & spices


Wed - milk & butter
special guest Jamie White from Prairie Farms Dairy


Thu - bread


Week 4 - The Story of Buildings

Mon - wood & glass


Tue - iron


Wed - cement


Thu - electricity


That will conclude our school year but we will start back up in September with a deeper dive into Fibers & Clothing. My plan is for us to dye all of the yarn colors we will use in our knitting projects next year!

Why I Only Want to Buy White Yarn


We've also been invited by the IL Master Gardeners to help them plant a patch of flax at the Harrison-Bruce Historical Village and participate in all of the steps of the process, taking the flax from baby plant... to linen fabric.

All of the parents in our homeschool group are warmly invited to bring their children to “A Pollinator Party” on Sunday, June 30th to speak firsthand with the spinners and weavers guild and hear more about this exciting project!!!


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