13 Living Without Lights


Competencies: Social Studies, History

History 4.2: Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.

CBA: Meeting Needs and Wants


 

Objective: Students examine objects that were used in the past as substitutes for their modern day electric devices (washboards for washing machines, stereograph for T.V. or movies, toy bank for electronic toys, rug beater for a vacuum, curling iron without plug for modern curling irons that heat electronically, hair curlers, or perms).

Materials: washboard with handmade soap and clothespin, rug beater, curling iron, stereo viewer or toy bank, Ball-Mason jar

Procedure:

  1. Explain to students that everyday life was very different before people had electricity.  Students name all of the devices they use each day that require electricity.
  2. Ask students, “What would you use to get your work done and to entertain yourself if you did not have electricity to power your oven, washing machine, television, lights, hair dryer, radio, computers, etc.?”
  3. Let students brainstorm any tools or objects that they know of that pioneers used in place of our modern day appliances.  Do not discuss the items that are in the history kit.
  4. Hold up the washboard, and ask students if they can guess what it was used for.  Look for clues:
    • What is it made out of?
    • Does it have a handle or place to grasp it?
    • Do you think it was used to clean, entertain, make something else?
    • Who do you think used it?
    • What do you think it was used for?
    • What modern day convenience has replaced it?
  5. Play a detective guessing game.  Allow all reasonable guesses.  Slowly provide clues that allow the children to guess the object’s actual use.   For example, with the washboard, show the students the homemade soap that would be used with the washboard.  Tell them that the lower portion of this object was usually submerged in a pan of water when it was being used.  Show them the wooden clothespin and tell them someone would use this after they used the washboard.
  6. When students have correctly guessed what the object is, discuss how life has changed with the modern replacement.
  7. Continue the detective guessing game with each of the items.
  8. In conclusion, discuss changes in values, beliefs, and attitudes that have resulted from new technology.

Downloads:

Activity 13 (DOC)
Activity 13 (PDF)

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14 Quilting


Competencies: Social Studies, History

History 4.2: Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.

CBA: Meeting Needs and Wants


 

Objective: Students learn about Beryl Baxter, Issaquah’s matriarch, renowned in the community for her quilting.  Find out how pioneer girls learned math and geometry through quilting and needlepoint. The make a class quilt from fabric or construction paper, each quilt block piece depicting a different aspect of Issaquah history.

Materials: article on Beryl Baxter, “Issaquah’s famous quilter once cut wood for a living”; article on girls, geometry and quilting, “Virtuous Habits of Perseverance” (this article can be found in the back of the binder in sheet protectors); quilt pattern coloring sheets, quilt sample

Procedure:

  1. Share highlights from the article about Beryl Baxter with the class.  If students are not familiar with quilts (piecing together material to make a blanket), define the term.  Share the quilt sample from the kit.  Ask students why they think people used different kinds of materials to make a quilt (for fun, attractiveness, practical reasons – pieces were left over from worn out clothes or previous blankets, couldn’t always afford that much new material).
  2. Explain that girls in the past often learned geometry, the study of shapes, and math by sewing.  Hold up the article about girls and math showing the students the quilt samples and the diary sketches.  Ask students what shapes they see in the quilts and the sketches (square, rectangles, circles, triangles, stars, hexagons, etc.  Ask why they think the article is about girls, why not boys (traditionally in America, girls did the sewing).  Is that true today (no, anyone can sew, although more women continue to sew than men).
  3.  Draw freehand a simple checkerboard square pattern on the board.  Make it a sloppy, quick drawing.  Ask the class if it looks like a good quilt pattern.  Ask them how they think the pattern could be improved (measuring, taking your time).  Ask students if they were going to make a quilt, why it would be important to know how to measure (get the quilt to fit the bed, make the pieces the same lengths or it would look messy, cut the right number of pieces).
  4. Discuss how it was considered a great skill to have neat, even lines and shapes that matched perfectly.  Discuss other skills that girls were expected to learn by sewing, beyond mathematics, such as perseverance, attention to detail, self-discipline, etc.  Teachers may want to select portions of the “Virtuous Habits of Perseverance” article to read to the class.
  5. Show students the quilt pattern coloring sheets.  Have students identify shapes they see and count the number of times a shape or pattern repeats.
  6. Let students select their own quilt pattern to color.  Encourage them to experiment with different colors to see what different materials would look like in a quilt that had such a pattern.
  7. Explain that the class is going to make a quilt together.  This quilt is going to be made out of shapes (probably squares).  The shapes must be measured to ensure that it fits together and has a uniform look when complete.  This quilt is going to have pictures instead of designs.
  8. Make a class quilt on fabric or paper.  Each student creates a block that represents a specific part of Issaquah’s history.  Teachers might want to help inspire ideas for quilt square pictures using the timeline, photos, or artifacts from the kit.  Make sure there is a wide variety of Issaquah history represented (so the quilt for example does not have 8 logging scenes and 10 coalmining scenes).
  9. When finished, display the class quilt in the hallway, office or library.

Extensions:

  1. Have students actually measure squares or shapes to fit a specific area, as one would to make a quilt.
  2. Use tanagram pieces from a math curriculum to let students experiment with shapes and designs.  Let students trace and color their patterns onto grid paper.
  3. Using grid paper, let students create their own quilt patterns.

Downloads:

Activity 14 (DOC)
Activity 14 (PDF)
Supplemental Materials

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15 Making Butter


Competencies: Social Studies, History

History 4.2: Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.

CBA: Meeting Needs and Wants


 

Objective: Students make butter just as the early settlers did. They look at an actual butter mold and press, and read an article about the history of butter presses.

Materials: article “Butter Prints & Molds” by Anne Colby (see attached), in kits 1 and 2 there are separate butter molds and presses, in kits 3 and 4 there is one mold with the press design already engraved in the mold, chilled whipping cream, clean baby food jars, crackers

Procedure:

  • Ask students if they eat butter or margarine at home.  Ask them what it looks like (wrapped sticks or in plastic tubs) and where their parents buy it (local grocery store).   Ask students where they think the butter comes from before it gets to the store.  Discuss how butter is made (comes from cows).
  • Read the article Butter Prints & Molds to the class.  Discuss how pioneers made butter.
  • Share and discuss the butter mold/press.  These are for viewing and discussing only, not to use.
  • Tell the students that they will get to make butter the way that pioneers did.
  • Pour 1-2 teaspoons of whipping cream into each clean baby food jar.
  • Shake the jar for several minutes until the cream turns to butter.  Chilled cream will form into butter faster.
  • Spread the homemade butter onto crackers and enjoy.

Downloads:

Activity 15 (DOC
Activity 15 (PDF)
Butter Prints & Molds

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