In our school, our brave 3rd grade classroom teachers lead the lesson blocks on fibers including skirting, washing, carding and spinning a fleece. (I've heard that in other schools much of this work is carried by the handwork teachers.)
I don't get to teach 3rd grade handwork since we have a lower grades handwork specialist. But that doesn't stop me from wishing I got to be there when children first had these experiences!
Hera are four videos that I've shared with our third grade teachers about this process.
First, here is a classroom friendly system for washing wool. Last year our 3rd grade class washed wool in the hall sinks. However, since our school has temperature dampeners on our student access sinks, we added hot water from the kitchen sink and tea-pots. I found that the Dawn dish soap really does work better.
I'm charmed by this vlogger, Jenna, and her simple demonstration of washing, carding and spinning. During the carding section, I'd have students put one card on their leg and pull against that rather than trying to do it mid-air as Jenna does.
Here is a simple video on dyeing wool with the marigolds in our natural dye garden. Third grade could do this after their yarn is spun.
Then, of course, I'd ask them to watch my favorite video ever, about spinning or any other subject.
Won't it be powerful for our students to know that they have the skill to make their own beautiful yarn?
Image from survivallife.com.
Our Homeschool Explorations class had a chance to practice square knots last Tuesday. The corn husk dolls we made required six knots.
Students always need lots of practice at home when learning to tie knots. Luckily fall is the season for knot tying. Tying shoes before school, tying string on gifts, tying the turkey's legs together, building shelters in the forest, making the last of the season's daisy chains, tying the harvest faire crown around one's head; all chances to practice knots in the autumn.
When I am teaching children to tie knots there are a few tricks that have been helpful. First, if it is comfortable for the child, sit behind them when showing a new knot. Using two different colored strings can be helpful. A story or a rhyme is essential. For square knots, I use the imagery of making a tee-pee and then a person running behind the tee-pee and going inside. I also use the words "right over left and then left over right" as I teach the steps to the knot.
Mrs. Barbara Albert