Textiles and Fibers--Waldorf grade 3

According to Waldorf philosophy, the third grade child is emerging from his little world of family and imagination and is finding his place in the bigger, outside world.  That is why we study Old Testament stories:  people on a journey, learning how to relate to authority.  But we also study the ways we get along in this bigger world--namely food, clothing, and shelter.  Here's an outline of what we learned about textiles:
What was it like to be a baby?  We told D's birth story.  Was he born with any clothes?  What kind of things did he need?  In main lesson book (MLB), he drew a baby with his "layette."

The first peoples' clothes were animal skins--leather.  D made a handwork project with leather. (The Tandy company has lots of kits.)  What are the advantages and disadvantages of clothing made from skins?

D played with some actual cotton plants.  (I bought mine on Ebay for just a few dollars.)  I let him pull apart the bolls to find the seeds inside.  Wasn't the cotton gin a great invention so we didn't have to do this by hand?
We read Cotton by Millicent E. Selsam which talks about the history of cotton, the plant, and how it is processed.  In what kinds of weather would you like to wear cotton?

I told the legend of the Chinese princess who discovered silk when a silkworm cocoon fell in her cup of tea.  (I found this story several places, but my favorite was "The Secrets of Silk" by Elizabeth Seward in Living Crafts magazine, Spring 2011.)  We also read Material World--Silk by Claire Llewellyn and got some new colors of play silks. :)  D drew the life cycle of the silk worm in his MLB.

We watched several You-Tube videos about how flax is grown and processed.  D illustrated the process in his MLB.

We read Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow. (Pelle's suit is too small for him.  He shears his sheep, then he has to help the people who card, spin, dye, weave, and sew his wool into a new suit.).  We made a drop spindle and did our best to make yarn.  (It wasn't very even!)

 With every fabric, we tried burning a piece to see how flammable it was and how it smelled.
This was a really fun (and informative!) unit.  I think older children would enjoy it too.

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