February 10, 2010

Fiber Fun Wednesday -- Drop Spindles in History Class

For those of you who don't already know, we are a homeschooling family. We belong to a great homeschooling group that meets every Tuesday for an assortment of classes. It's a lot of fun and the kids can spend time with other kids learning something new or fun from someone other than Mom.

While the kids are taking their classes, I spend time teaching a couple classes of my own. One of those is a History class for tween girls. Imagine a room full of girls ages 8-12 learning history through the American Girl books. Serious chaos at times, but really fun.

The last few weeks we have been talking about the civil war era and slavery. As a craft to go along with this time in history, I choose to teach them how to spin yarn on a drop spindle. Now, I wasn't making it easy on them. They had to make their own drop spindles as well.

We made them out of wooden dowels and CD's. There was the quick explanation that CD's did not exist in the 1800's, but they got the fact that we were using stuff found around the house.

There was also another brief talk on why alpaca was not used back then either because of course we were spinning with alpaca! I told them just to pretend it was wool.

I have to give a big giant THANK YOU to Karen Cubic of Cubic's Country Alpacas who donated all the fiber we used in class. We were really blessed to have her send a HUGE box of rovings for these girls. Thank you Karen from all of us!

Last week we gave it a "whirl". Ha Ha. Some of the girls took to it right away while others needed a little more individual help, but by yesterday's lesson they all at least understood what they were doing.

Obviously not all were loving the drop spindle, but I think the girls enjoyed themselves. And who knows, maybe I've created a few budding fiber artists. :o)

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