“What are your blue jeans made from?” When asked this question, first grade students respond with a variety of answers. “String,” replies one youngster. “Wool”, suggests another. Understandably, the students are not familiar with this southern crop that makes up a big part of their wardrobe.
The January lesson, provided by University of Illinois Extension Marshall-Putnam Ag in the Classroom, shows the students how this versatile fiber is transformed into blue jeans and T-shirts. Students examine bolls of real cotton, separating the firmly held seeds from the fibers. They practice twisting the lint into string and learn how the seeds are fed to cattle. Students record their samples in miniature books that explain how the entire boll is used. At the end of the lesson when the students are once again asked “What are your blue jeans made from?” they all respond enthusiastically “Cotton”!
The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. For more information on Extension, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/blmp/ or call 309-364-2356. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.