Colonial Christmas 4th grade style – 12/20/2019

The fourth graders at the local elementary school have just finished up studying about Jamestown and today is the last day of school before winter break. There are 3 classes that rotate with 3 teachers for Science and History with one, Math with one, and Language Arts with one with a 4th teacher that is support. To end their unit and try to have some level of control on this last full day, they planned a Colonial Christmas celebration. In one room they dipped candles, in another they made pomander balls, the third room had a Christmas movie playing, making herb coated ornaments, and me in Colonial clothing with a lesson about colonial clothing, textiles, spinning, and weaving. I always take many “toys,” several different types of spindles, lucet, combs, carders, my wheel, and this time a borrowed rigid heddle loom. I love this type of event.

The children had an hour in each room, so I had 6 groups for about 30 minutes each to talk about a brief history of spinning, history of homespun, and some weaving. Some groups watched and asked a few questions, the most common one was, “Do you wear that every day?” Some groups wanted hands on and I allowed carding of wool and playing with the various spindles that I demonstrated first. With the number and age of the kids, I didn’t let them handle the sharp combs and knew that letting any of them use the wheel I was asking for trouble. And as the rigid heddle was borrowed from a friend, I only demonstrated on it.

There were photos taken by various adults, but none by me.

My favorite question though, was as I was packing up to leave, a tiny little gal approached and very quietly asked if she could ask me something. Of course, I replied. She asked, “Where you around in Jamestown?” I laughed my way home with that one. The old lady with her spinning wheel.

Another great opportunity to teach the youth and maybe interest some of them in pursuing an interest in fiber.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.