It's been a busy week. I've been relief teaching - sole charge in a small rural school. I decided to do an integrated unit on 'Fibres', more specifically wool.
I managed to devise a series of about 20 teaching stations that included maths, poetry, science, geography and arts and crafts.
The kids wove (Soumak, and El ojo de Dios), spun (on a spinning wheel), made felt balls and jointly created a lovely piece of felted wool and alpaca fibre which we hung on the fence to dry:
They touched different kinds of wool and decided what they'd be good for, made up poems about whether they'd rather be a cashmere goat, angora rabbit or sheep being shorn, and sang "Click Go the Shears", after a lengthy discussion on the meaning of Aussie slang words, including a quick anatomical diversion into the blood circulation system to explain why a sheep might habe described as a 'Blue bellied Joe'.
They watched a DVD about the process of carpet manufacture from sheep to floor, and looked at different fibres under a microscope, drawing what they saw.
They did a whole lot of calculations about shearing tallies, pay and food consumption of hungry shearers and learnt the meanings of lots of new words like 'crimp', 'scouring', 'weft' and 'luster'.
They sketched an alpaca, and coloured in a 'jacob' sheep, just for fun giving it all the colours of the rainbow.
They learnt that there are about 40 million sheep in New Zealand, and that over half of them are Romneys.
They also trained hard for cross-country running, played cricket, and had a shared soup lunch.
I've loved every minute.