Flowers of Silk and Gold
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Textile Investigations, Lesson Plan 1 for Classroom


Rationale:
    Textiles surround us: we wear them, we sleep on them, we sit on them, and we sometimes hang them as art. By understanding the makers and methods of textiles -- both old and new -- we can begin to understand the cultures in which they were and are made.
Goals:
    Develop a greater appreciation for the textile arts
    Develop looking and analytical skills
Materials: Procedures:
  • Discuss with students the ability to learn about a culture by looking at objects, in this case textiles.
  • Ask students to list as many textiles as they can think of (towels, clothing, upholstery on furniture, quilts, etc.)
  • Working as a class (with teacher asking questions), as teams, or individually have students analyze and answer as many questions as they can about the textile (in this case a dishtowel) using the LOOK! Worksheet.
  • If working in teams or as individuals let students know they will be "reporting out" on their findings.
  • Students should present their findings to the class.
  • Each answer from the students should be followed with a question from the teacher. Such as: How did you come to that answer? or What on the object helped you ascertain that information?
  • Discuss "How to Read a Label" with students in preparation for next lesson
  • Close lesson by having students read/discuss information on Ottoman Embroidery
Key Point:
    Through inference students can take a simple dishtowel and begin to explore where the materials that make up the towel (cotton, rayon, polyester) come from (natural, manufactured). This can lead to further questions -- why was rayon or polyester produced? Do these materials help or hurt the environment? They can begin to explore the issues of why a dishtowel was made. Convenience? Style? Did it evolve from something else?

    They can begin to address fundamental questions about any object: Why was it made? How was it made? Who made it?


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