Skip to main content

Felted Soap: SOL 16

Write. Share. Give. Join the March Slice of Life Story Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers
                                          ______________________________
Yesterday we celebrated Maine Day at my school. It was Maine's 196th birthday. Instead of regular classes, the kids go to five different workshops throughout the day. Each kid has their own personal schedule for the day. There are over 30 workshops going on at once, each one is Maine themed. Kids can learn about tapping trees, making syrup, Maine farm animals (with real bunnies and chickens!), hiking, growing potatoes, making herbal lotions, weaving, bee hives, along with Maine trivia games and learning about Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Don Fendler.

My workshop was felted soap which was a tradition in Maine because the homemade soap of earlier days was not very comforting to the skin and covering soap in oily sheep wool soothed the skin and conserved the soap. I went to a great fiber store and bought brightly colored wool roving. Roving is the wool after its been carded and dyed but before it is spun into yarn.
Each child made their own to take home. They chose the colors and wrapped the wool around their bar of soap, then placed it all in a knee high stocking to keep the colors in place. Next, they dipped it alternately in hot water and then cold and rubbed the bar of soap for 15 minutes. The resulting bar of soap with shrunken wool protecting it was beautiful. 
What I noticed most about the project, though, was that the kids were deeply engaged in this work from head to hands. They were quietly chatting with each other. All five groups were respectful and excited about the learning. There wasn't one behavior issue. This isn't a coincidence, this is was true learning looks like.

Comments

  1. I never knew there was such a thing as felted soap. What a fun day for your school!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is so amazing. I love that the kids get this opportunity to celebrate their stater with all these amazing choices. Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Coolest thing ever - talk about wonder -- I have so many questions!!! I completely agree about the hands-on learning -- it needs to be happening more in our classrooms. Thank you for sharing this -- I want to come next year!!!
    Clare

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for posting this. What a fun day! I agree that this is how we should be teaching and engaging our students. It is hard work for the presenters to prepare but worth every minute.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would love to know the details about how this all happens, too; thirty stations sounds amazing. What a great activity you chose to share! I work at a PBL campus, and the teachers say the same things about the hands-on, self-directed learning--it thoroughly engages the students.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your title caught me...of course, I wondered, "What on Earth is felted soap?". Now I know. My mine is swirling with how I could create a MO history day for our students. Field trips are so limited now and this sounds super fun!

    ReplyDelete
  7. i have never heard of this! Appreciated the photos

    ReplyDelete
  8. New to me. I remember one aunt making soap in a big iron kettle. This would have been wonderful for that harsh lye soap. Using hands to create is a wonderful thing for all, and you've shown that it's also great for kids. They don't get enough of it, do they? Your special day sounds wonderful, Kimberley.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love the jewel colors - so bright and happY!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love the jewel colors - so bright and happY!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What fun. Looks like something that I would love to do with my kids.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So much fun! I bet the kids loved it. We do a pioneer simulation at the end of the school year and the kids get to take home so many things that the pioneers would have used... we make butter, candles, etc. It's the thing that they do each year that they talk about forever! Thanks for sharing this exciting day.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I want to do this myself! I've never heard of felted soap or wool roving. These are beautiful and I'm glad you shared the history behind it. This sounds like such a fun, wonderful day.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would love to have you for a teacher!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways to Help Gifted Kids Find Their Gifts

When I work with gifted kids, I'm amazed by their lack of understanding about what interests them. They know how to surf the net exhaustively for Youtube videos that make them laugh, but not what skills and practices further their interests.

Developing interests and passions is critical to these students. Many people out there tell me that this is not just for gifted kids, that their average developing child needs to know how to do this too. While of course I agree that this is true, I also think that typical academic, fine arts, and sports programs are available in most communities are enough to engage and motivate most kids. Not true of gifted children who become jaded, disinterested, and shut down quickly when a program doesn't meet their needs.
Most people think of gifted students as being prodigies who know exactly where their gifts lie. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I often question if some children who are identified as gifted will ever find thei…

Writing Short, Day 1

I've taken a new position. I'm now an editor and writer at a company called We Are Teachers. I do some article writing for them, but I also write very short pieces designed for emails or giveaways. I didn't think I'd like this kind of work, but I do! It brings me back to the importance of knowing how to write short. I've talked about this before, but here's the book I'm referencing:
And thank you, Roy Peter Clark, for soothing my guilt about writing specifically for the Tweet. In “How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times,” this amazing writer praises Twitter’s 140-character limit as a tool for “intelligent cutting.”
So, as a way to get better at my new craft, I'm re-reading his book and actually doing the activities at the end of each chapter. The first: Practice writing plain sentences that contain a grace note, one interesting word that stands out. ___________________________________________
As did Proteus, I move forward into change. I figure, I …

DigiLit Sunday: Relationships

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..

On Sunday, I interviewed a woman named Julie Lindsay. She lives in Australia and started a company called Flat Connections. Her message to me was that Web 2.0 tools have changed the face of education. It brought the walls down so that we could all reach each other.

On  Monday, I read a book by Pernille Ripp, a teacher living in Wisconsin. In Reimagining Literacy through Global Connections, Ripp's message to me was to keep it simple when going global, the students just need to know they can connect and share who they are.

On Tuesday, I voxed Julieanne Harmatz. "Let's do this!" I said. "I've got a fourth grade, you've got a fifth. Mine is in Maine, yours is in California. Let's read together and share thoughts." She agreed.

On Wednesday, Julieanne emailed suggestions for three books she had multiple copies of. I book talked them to my students that afternoon.

On Thursday, I worked online with…