Learning About Cotton 2

Today the children continued their work on cotton. Harry and Lillian both had a worksheet to complete. They were researching people who were influential in the development of textile manufacturing. Lillian looked at Samuel Crompton and his invention, the Mule, for the mass production of yarn. Harry looked at John Kay and the invention of the Flying Shuttle. They both considered the importance of these inventions and wrote about the impact they had on the cotton industry. They also described how each of these inventions worked. To do this they were allowed to use their phones and tablets to do their researching. Through this activity they found that it is not as easy as they thought to find the right bits of information and that you have to put a bit of effort into finding what you need. Joe was given a missing word exercise where he had to fill in the blanks by choosing the appropriate word from a list of cotton related words. Joe is quite reluctant to read and is still sounding out words when reading aloud. However, I have caught him out now and then letting the charade slip and proving that he can read more than he lets on. For instance, following on from yesterdays work, he came in this morning telling us how many of his clothes were made from cotton and that some only had a percentage of cotton. As he completed this worksheet we discussed each answer to ensure he had a basic understanding of what he was reading and writing. I have found that a more flexible attitude to learning suits Joe best at the moment and I am trying to find ways to pique his interest so he learns despite all his attempts not to.The end of the session was taken up with a cotton related wordsearch, which they all enjoyed and completed with a bit of what they called “teamwork”.

What I have found to be most interesting though, is how by having to keep one jump ahead of the children my own thirst for knowledge has returned. In order to set the topics and provide the resources for them to use I am spending ridiculous amounts of time researching each element of our chosen topic. And although I have a good basic knowledge of this particular topic I am, along with the children, learning new things all the time. 

For more about our day at the Quarry Bank Mill, click here

For more information about visiting Quarry Bank Mill, click here

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