1 class periods of 90 minutes each
This lesson will help students distinguish the differences between the natural fibers--cotton, linen, wool and silk.
- 1 1/2-inch square sample pieces of fabric from each of the four natural fibers--cotton, linen, wool, and silk--enough for the entire class
- A copy of the natural fiber chart for each student
- A transparency copy of the "Natural Fibers Notes" (see attachment)
Background for Teachers
Please be familiar with the information that is on the attached note outline. It also may help to have personal experiences and advice to share concerning each of the natural fibers. This information could come from your day-to-day life.
Student Prior Knowledge
Students do not need to have prior knowledge of the natural fibers in order to complete this lesson.
Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to identify basic fabric samples of the four natural fibers. They may also learn different characteristics of each as well as how to take care of them.
- Hand out a natural fiber chart to each student. Explain to the students how this activity will work. The teacher will hand out a fabric sample for each of the four spaces on the chart. Students will then need to staple or tape the sample onto the corresponding space. Finally, the students will take notes on the specific fiber in the space provided, as the teacher goes over the overhead outline with them.
- Begin this procedure as a class, starting with cotton. Hand out the cotton samples, wait a bit for the students to staple them to their papers, and start going over the information on the note outline transparency.
- After you have finished going over cotton, you could then show the video (Cotton's Journey) and complete the accompanying activities of your choice. If you do not want to use the supplemental information, move on to the linen, repeating the steps.
- Go through the same steps for wool as you have done previously. When you have gone through the wool information, now would be a great time do the spinning wool activity (attachment). Students really enjoy this activity, trying to spin a tight yarn and then dyeing the wool in a Kool-Aid & vinegar solution.
- Finally, you come to silk on the chart. Hand out the sample, go through the information and add any anecdotes that you may have.
- Have students hand in the completed chart.
Correct the fiber chart for completeness and correctness, making sure that the fiber samples are in the correct spots and the notes have been written in the correct boxes.
Agriculture in the Classroom website (www.agclassroom.org)