Printer Friendly

Fabrics and fibers.

Can you imagine playing your favorite sport wearing clothes made of animal skins? Long ago that was all people had to protect themselves from heat, cold, and harsh environments. Of course people still wear leather and suede, but most clothing is now made from fibers. Towels, curtains, carpets, and bed sheets are too. Fibers are tiny threads that come from plants, animals, and even chemicals. The hair on your head is a fiber. We call fibers from plants and animals natural fibers. Fibers made from chemicals are called synthetic.

Cotton and wool are the most common natural fibers. Cotton comes from a plant. Wool comes from sheep. One of the most beautiful natural fibers is silk. It comes from the cocoon of the silk caterpillar. Synthetic fibers include polyester, nylon, and lycra. Chemicals used to make synthetic fibers usually come from petroleum oil and natural gas.

Natural fibers grow short and tangled. To be useful, they must combed straight. This process is called carding. Combed fibers are still not long enough or strong enough to be made into cloth. They must first be spun or twisted together into thread or yarn. Spinning is done on a spindle, spinning wheel, or spinning machine. Spinning joins together the short fibers and makes them many times stronger. Synthetic fibers are formed by squirting chemicals through the tiny holes of a spinneret and into a chemical bath which straightens and hardens them. Finished thread is wound onto a spool. Yarn is wound into a bundle called a skein.

Finished thread or yarn can be woven or knitted into cloth. Woven cloth is made on a loom. A loom interlaces threads by crossing one set with another. Depending on the thickness of the thread used, woven cloth can be very delicate or very tough and durable. Knitted cloth can be made by hand using knitting needles. It can also be made with a knitting machine. Knitting joins a single piece of yarn in row after row of loops. The loops of knitted cloth make it stretchy. Swimsuits, underwear, sweaters, exercise clothes, and socks are often made of knitted fabric.

DID YOU KNOW??

Wool is naturally flame resistant. A wool blanket can smother a fire.

DID YOU KNOW??

Wool is nature's warmest fiber.

DID YOU KNOW??

The silk thread in 1 cocoon is a half mile long.

DID YOU KNOW??

Wool is one of the only fibers that can keep you warm when it is wet.

Weekly Lab

Card your fibers. Spin your own yarn.

You need: cotton balls, quilt batting or lamb's wool (a foot-care product), 2 wire dog brushes or stiff-bristled hair brushes

Step 1: Pull a cotton ball across the bristles of one of your brushes several times. Fluffy wisps of fibers will stick in the bristles each time you pull.

Step 2: Use the second brush to comb the fibers in only one direction.

Step 3: Carefully lift off the combed cotton from the bristles of your brush.

Step 4: Place the combed cotton on your thigh. Gently stretch out a few of the fibers at the end of the roll and twist them with your fingers.

Step 5: Now, stretch out a few more fibers and, with the palm of your hand, roll them on your thigh towards your knee. (Don't forget to keep on stretching out the fibers as you twist.) Don't worry if your fibers break. Just twist them back together with your fingers and keep on rolling!

DID YOU KNOW??

Kevlar is stronger and more heat resistant than any other synthetic fiber.

Is your yarn stronger than the fibers that made it? Gently pull a cotton ball apart. Notice how strong the fibers seem to be. Now pull on a small piece of your yarn. Is it harder to break?

Weekly Problem

WHY-FLY is making costumes for his school play. He needs to make 12 shirts and 12 pairs of pants. He needs 2 and 1/2 yards of knit fabric for each shirt. He needs 3 and 1/4 yards of denim fabric for each pair of pants.

1) How much knit fabric does he need?

2) How much denim does he need?

3) How many yards of fabric does he need in all?

Vocabulary

Find the picture that matches the sentences below. Write in the name of each fabric.

Contest

WIN A SURPRISE PRIZE!!!

Silk fibers come from caterpillars. How many caterpillar cocoons do you think it takes to make a tie?

DID YOU KNOW??

It takes about 630 cocoons to make 1 silk blouse.

You must fill out the other side.

DID YOU KNOW??

Silkworms have been domesticated (raised to make silk) for at least 4000 years.

1)__comes from the under-coat of a goat.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

2)__comes from the soft hair of a Turkish rabbit.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

3)__is spit from the mouth of a caterpillar.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

4)__is shaved from a South American camel cousin.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

5)__is made from the fibers in chopped-up trees.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

6)__comes from the stems of a tiny blue flower.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

DID YOU KNOW??

One merino sheep can produce 5500 miles of wool fiber in 1 year!

Writing for Science

Fibers and fabrics appear in many fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a spinning wheel spindle. Rumpelstiltskin helped the miller's daughter spin straw into gold. Write your own tale about a mysterious wizard who arrives in your town with magical cloth.

DID YOU KNOW??

Polyester is very durable. It is also very wrinkle resistant.

DID YOU KNOW??

Linen is probably the oldest cloth ever made. Pieces of linen have been discovered that date back to 5000 BC.

DID YOU KNOW??

Silk is strong enough to make parachutes and ropes.

Level A

Main Concepts: Tiny threads called fibers are twisted together to make thread or yarn. Thread is woven into cloth to make clothes and things like towels, curtains, sheets, and blankets.

Picture Activity

Explain that fibers can come from plants and animals. These are called natural fibers. Cotton grows around the seeds formed in the flower of a cotton plant. Wool is cut or sheared from sheep. Silk is unwound from the cocoons of a silk caterpillar. Ask everyone who is wearing a T-shirts or blue jeans to raise their hand. Tell them that they are all wearing cotton. Warm sweaters are often made of wool. Many men wear neck ties made of silk. Write cotton on the board. Explain that all clothing sold in the US must have a label inside that tells what fiber it is made of. Pair your students up and have them look for the word "cotton" on the label inside the neck of their partner's shirt. How many shirts contain cotton fibers? What other fibers are they wearing? Ask what other things they use that are made of fabric.

Vocabulary

Have your students write the letter i or o to complete the words fiber, fabric, wool, cotton, and woven. Read the words aloud together.

Weekly Lab

You need: a large piece of construction paper cut with slits about an inch apart, strips of construction paper (about 3/4 inch wide) in 2 other colors. Woven cloth or fabric is made by crossing one set of threads with another in an over-and-under pattern so they become intertwined. Weaving is done on a loom. In this lab, your students will weave strips of paper to make a woven paper place mat. Demonstrate how to weave the paper through the slits in an over-under pattern. Explain that the next row will begin under-over. Show them how to gently slide the woven paper strips up so they fit snugly. You may also want to try the Shoe so they fit snugly. You may also want to try the Shoe Box Loom described on Page 4.

Contest

See the Contest Information box on the front page of the Teaching Notes. Tell your students to fill in all the information neatly and clearly. Encourage everyone to enter and join in the fun.

Weekly Problem

Answers: 1) d 2) e 3) a 4) b 3) f 4) c. Tell them to look very carefully. Cloth can be knitted or woven in many patterns.

Writing for Science

Read the following paragraph to your students. It describes how sheep's wool is turned into yarn and then woven into cloth. After you have finished reading, have them cut out the 4 pictures and paste them in the correct order: 1) a-shearing, 2) d-combing or carding, 3) b-spinning, 4) c-weaving. Do you know the rhyming song, "Mary Had a Little Lamb"? The last part of the song says, "Its fleece was white as snow." A lamb's fleece is its soft coat of curly wool fibers. Once the lambs grow up and the weather is warm, the sheep farmer gives each of them a haircut. He carefully cuts off every bit of wool with special clippers called shears. The sheared wool is washed and combed straight with brushes. Brushing straightens the curly wool fibers so they can be made into yarn. The wool fibers are twisted into yarn using a spinning wheel or big spinning machines. Once the yarn is finished, it can be made into cloth. Wool yarn can be woven into fabric on a loom. Now have them write about this story in their own words. You may also want to read them Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomi de Paola or A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert.

Level B

Main Concepts: Fibers are twisted together to make thread or yarn. Thread is woven into cloth to make fabric. Natural fibers come from plant, animals, or insects.

Vocabulary

Have your students write the letter i, a, or o to complete the words fiber, fabric, wool, cotton, thread, and yarn. Read the words together.

Weekly Lab

See the instructions for the Shoe Box Loom on Page 4. Be sure to demonstrate how to gently slide the weft yarn snugly together after each row in order to make a nice tight weave.

Contest

See the Contest Information box on the front page of the Teaching Notes. Tell your students to fill in all the information neatly and clearly. Encourage everyone to enter and join in the fun.

Weekly Problem

Some kinds of fibers are tougher than others. Clothes for work and play must be very durable. In this activity, your students will compare the durability of different fibers. Information on the durability of 3 fabrics is provided on the chart. They will test the durability of one more fabric of their choice (a cotton T-shirt will work well). To prepare them for this activity, introduce the word durable or "hard to wear out." Ask how they know when their clothes are worn. Have them look at the bar graph. What can they tell about the durability of nylon, wool, and denim by looking at this data? Have them predict whether their T-shirt (or other fabric) will be more or less durable than the nylon, wool, or denim.

Have them wrap their fabric around a ball and rub it on sandpaper or the sidewalk. Count the number of rubs it took until the fabric is worn through. Have them fill in the graph with their results. What did they discover?

Writing for Science

Fabrics are used in many familiar and unusual ways--clothing, blankets, curtains, towels, sheets, tents, furniture, bandages, bags for hot air balloons, sails for sailboats, domes for sports stadiums, even the outer skin of some kinds of airplanes. Have them write a story about some different (and perhaps unusual) ways fabrics are used.

Level C

Main Concepts: Natural fibers are cleaned, combed, spun into thread, and then woven or knitted into cloth. Fibers can come from natural or synthetic sources.

Vocabulary

Have your students write the letter i, a, or o to complete the words fiber, fabric, wool, cotton, woven, thread, and yarn.

Weekly Lab

See the instructions for the Shoe Box Loom on Page 4. Your students can also use 2 colors of weft yarn to make a striped weaving. Be sure to demonstrate how to gently slide the weft yarn snugly together after each row in order to make a nice tight weave.

Contest

See the Contest Information box on the front page of the Teaching Notes. Tell your students to fill in all the information neatly and clearly. Encourage everyone to enter and join in the fun.

Weekly Problem

Some kinds of fibers are tougher than others. Clothes for work and play must be very durable, In this activity, your students will compare the durability of different fibers. Information on the durability of nylon and wool is provided on the graph. Your students will test and record the results of the durability for 2 additional fabrics (denim blue jeans and cotton T-shirt or socks are good choices) and answer the questions. To prepare them for this activity, introduce the word durable or "hard to wear out." Ask how they know when their clothes are worn. Have them look at the bar graph. What can they tell about the durability of nylon and wool by looking at this data? Have them predict whether their 2 test materials will be more or less durable than the nylon and wool. Have them wrap their fabric sample around a ball and rub it on sandpaper or the sidewalk. Count the number of rubs it took until the fabric is worn through. Have them fill in the graph with their results. Repeat with their second fabric sample. What did they discover?

Writing for Science

Fabrics are used in many familiar and unusual ways--clothing, blankets, curtains, towels, sheets, tents, furniture, bandages, bags for hot air balloons, sails for sailboats, domes for sports stadiums, even the outer skin of some kinds of airplanes. Have them write a story about some different (and perhaps unusual) ways fabrics are used.

Level D

Main Concepts: Natural fibers are cleaned, combed, spun into thread, and then woven or knitted into cloth. Fibers can come from natural or synthetic sources.

Vocabulary

Answers: 1) angora 2) cashmere 3) silk 4) rayon 5) flax.

Weekly Lab

See the instructions for the Shoe Box Loom on Page 4. Your students should use 2 or more colors of weft yarn to make a striped weaving. Be sure to demonstrate how to gently slide the weft yarn snugly together after each row in order to make a nice tight weave.

Contest

See the Contest Information box on the front page of the Teaching Notes. Tell your students to fill in all the information neatly and clearly. Encourage everyone to enter and join in the fun.

Weekly Problem

Some kinds of fibers are tougher than others. Clothes for work and play must be very durable. In this activity, your students will compare the durability of different fibers. Information on the durability of nylon and wool is provided on the graph. Your students will test and record the results of the durability for 2 additional fabrics (denim blue jeans and cotton T-shirt or socks are good choices) and answer the questions. To prepare them for this activity, introduce the word durable or "hard to wear out." Ask how they know when their clothes are worn. Have them look at the bar graph. What can they tell about the durability of nylon and wool by looking at this data? Have them predict whether their 2 test materials will be more or less durable than the nylon and wool. Have them wrap their fabric sample around a ball and rub it on sandpaper or the sidewalk. Count the number of rubs it took until the fabric is worn through. Have them fill in the graph with their results. Repeat with their second fabric sample.

Writing for Science

Spinning, weaving, and cloth figure prominently in many fairy tales, folk tales, and myths. Ask your students if they know the stories of Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, The Emperor's New Clothes, or the myth of Arachne, the weaver, who was turned into a spider by an angry goddess. Ask them how fibers and fabrics were important story elements in these tales. Have them write an imaginative and creative story of their own that uses spinning, weaving, or cloth as part of the plot.

Level E

Main Concepts: Natural fibers are cleaned, combed, spun into thread, and then woven or knitted into cloth. Fibers can come from natural or synthetic sources. The kind of fibers used, and whether yarns are woven or knitted together, changes the qualities of a fabric's strength, durability, and appearance.

Weekly Lab

In this lab, your students will comb (card) fibers with wire pet brushes and spin them into a crude yarn. For carding, demonstrate how to hold the brushes with the handles pointing away from one another. They should pull the handles in the opposite direction when combing fibers. When they are ready to remove the combed fibers from the brushes, have them turn the top brush around so that both handles are pointing in the same direction. Use the top row of bristles on the top brush to gently pull the fibers off the bristles of the bottom brush in the direction of the handle. The combed bundle of fibers is called a rolag. Have them gently stretch a few fibers out from the end of the rolag and twist them between their thumb and forefinger. Show them how to lengthen their yarn by gently stretching out a few more fibers and rolling them against their thigh towards their knee. As their yarn grows longer, they can wind it onto a stick or pencil.

Weekly Problem

Answers: 1) 30 yards of knit fabric for shirts 2) 39 yards of denim for pants 3) 69 yards of fabric in all.

Contest

See the Contest Information box on the front page of the Teaching Notes. Tell your students to fill in all the information neatly and clearly. Encourage everyone to enter and join in the fun.

Vocabulary

Answers: 1) cashmere 2) angora 3) silk 4) alpaca 5) rayon 6) flax.

Writing for Science

See TN Level D-WRITING FOR SCIENCE.

Level F

Main Concepts: Natural fibers are cleaned, combed, spun into thread, and then woven or knitted into cloth. Fibers can come from natural or synthetic sources. The kind of fibers used, and whether yarns are woven or knitted together, changes the fabric's strength, durability, and appearance.

Weekly Lab

Lab A: See TN Level E-WEEKLY LAB.

Lab B: See the instructions for the Shoe Box Loom on Page 4. Your students will be using 2 or more colors of weft yarn to make a striped or patterned weaving. Remind them to gently slide the weft yarn snugly together after each row in order to make a nice tight weave.

Contest

See the Contest Information box on the front page of the Teaching Notes. Tell your students to fill in all the information neatly and clearly. Encourage everyone to enter and join in the fun.

Weekly Problem

Answers: 1) 30 yards of knit fabric for shirts 2) 39 yards of denim for pants 3) total cost $380.46 (for the 69 yards of fabric used in all.)

Writing for Science

Spinning, weaving, and cloth figure prominently in many fairy tales, folk tales, and myths. Ask your students if they know the stories of Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, The Emperor's New Clothes, or the myth of Arachne, the weaver, who was turned into a spider by an angry goddess. Ask them how fibers and fabrics were important story elements in these tales. Have them write an imaginative and creative story of their own that uses spinning, weaving, or cloth as part of the plot.

Weekly RESOURCES

Helpful Sources for Planning Your Science Weekly Classroom Activities

Recommended Resources

* Blood, Charles L. The Goat in the Rug. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 1990

* Johnson, Sylvia A. Silkworms. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co. 1982

* Jobin, Claire. All About Wool. Ossining, NY: Young Discovery Library, 1985

* Keeler, Patricia A. and Francis X. McCall, Jr. Unraveling Fibers. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995

* Sloat, Teri. Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep. New York: DK Publishing, 2000

Internet Resources

Fabric University--http://www.fabriclink.com/University.html

The Textile Museum in Washington, DC--http://www.textilemuseum.org

The Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA--http://www.athm.org/

All about silkworms (and any other insects you want to know about)

http://insected.arizona.edu/silkinfo.htm

Learn about embroidery for kids--http://www.hiraeth.com/ytg

This is a cool site for industrial and aviation fabric uses-click on the blue links for some great pictures!--http://www.fibrosource.com/textile_flight/breen.htm

Materials Needed for Issue 15 - Air Power

PA, A--pencils with erasers, tape, scissors, push pins. straws, paper

B--pencils with erasers, tape, scissors, push pins, straws, paper, small paper cups, Kleenex or tissue, thread

C--oblong balloons, string, paper clips, scissors, tape, straws, binder or "chip" clips, chairs, small paper cups, Kleenex or tissue, thread

D--oblong balloons, string, paper clips, scissors, tape, straws, binder or "chip" clips, chairs, copy or typing paper

E--tissue paper, scissors, glue, thread, tape, small paper or plastic cups, paper, straws

F--straws, stiff paper, rulers, pencils, glue, tape, scissors, paper clips, tissue paper, thread, small paper or plastic cups

Background

We use fibers for so many things, but most people forget how important they are to our everyday lives. Fibers are tiny threads of material that come from plants, animals, insects, and chemicals. Fibers are used to make clothing, sheets, towels, rugs, and many common household objects. Fibers are also used to make such surprising things as domes on sports stadiums, hot air balloons, boat and car bodies, trampolines, bookbinding, flags, insulation, bandages, diapers, and airplane wings among many others.

Natural fibers are produced by plants and animals. The most common natural fibers include flax, cotton, wool, and silk. Synthetic or man-made fibers are made from chemicals extracted from oil, natural gas, and cellulose. Some common synthetics are rayon, acetate, nylon, acrylic, polyester, spandex, and lycra.

Processing Natural Fibers

Most natural fibers grow in short tangled clumps. In order for these fibers to be made into fabrics, they must be harvested, cleaned, detangled, straightened, and twisted together (spun) into thread. A variety of equipment has been invented through the centuries to make these processes quicker and easier. Harvesting cotton and flax can be done by hand, but generally machines do this work. Sheep must still be sheared by hand either with hand scissors or electric clippers. Detangling and straightening fibers can also be done by hand with wire brushes called cards, but carding is usually done on large wire-brush cylinders. Combed fibers are short and weak. Spinning twists these fine fibers together to give them strength and make them long enough to be used for making cloth. In many parts of the world, people still spin yarn by hand using a drop spindle or spinning wheel. Thread and yarn for textile factories are produced on spinning machines.

Turning Fibers into Fabrics: Weaving

Fabric is made by connecting thread or yarn together either by weaving or knitting. Weaving is the process of interlacing one set of threads (the warp threads) with another set (the weft threads), generally at right angles to one other. Humans have been weaving since before recorded history. Early people learned how to weave together flat grasses and other plant materials to make many common household items like baskets, mats, and crude wrappers. First, strips of plant material were laid on the ground and woven in a simple over-and-under pattern. No special apparatus was needed. The same was true for basket weaving. Stiff warp pieces held the shape of the basket as the weft was woven through it. As people tried using finer and finer materials to make cloth, they discovered that the warp threads had to be held in the correct position under tension. And so the loom was invented. Knitted cloth is made by looping a single piece of yarn through itself in row after row. Knitted fabric can be made with a pair of knitting needles or on large knitting machines.

The History of Fabrics

Flax is the oldest known fiber to be used for weaving cloth. It dates back as early as 5,000 B.C. The first known picture of a loom was discovered on an Egyptian pottery bowl made in 4,000 B.C. The Egyptians became excellent weavers over the centuries. Some of the finest linen cloth ever made was produced for the burial shrouds of the Egyptian pharaohs in 2,500 B.C.!! Cotton and wool have been in use nearly as long--since about 3,000 B.C. Silk is believed to have been discovered by a Chinese princess around 2,600 B.C. Its source was a closely held secret in China until two monks smuggled silkworm eggs out by hiding them in their hollow bamboo walking sticks. Much in demand, silk drew merchant explorers like Marco Polo to the Far East along what became known as The Silk Road.

Cotton

Cotton fibers grow around the seeds produced in the flower of a cotton plant called a cotton boll. The bolls are picked by cotton picking machines, baled, and taken to a cotton mill where a machine called a cotton gin separates the seeds from the fibers. The cleaned fibers are then fluffed and combed into sheets on wire-brush rollers. From there, the sheets of cotton are sent to spinning machines which twist the fibers into a continuous thread that is wound onto spools.

Wool

Wool is still sheared by hand from sheep each spring. The sheared fleeces are carefully washed and dried before being sent to the carding machines, where the fibers are combed. Wool can be spun on a spinning machine into fine thread for weaves like wool flannel or worsted, or into thick yarns for sweaters and other warm knitted garments.

Flax

Flax fibers are formed in the long thin stems of the flax plant. In the fall, flax is pulled from the ground and stacked to dry. Then the flax plants are placed in water until the woody parts of the stems rot away exposing the flax fibers (a process called retting). The fibers are once again dried before being sent to a scutching machine which removes any extraneous plant parts and breaks up the fibers. The flax fibers are then scraped, combed, and spun into thread before being woven into cloth.

Silk

Silk is produced by the caterpillar of the silk moth called a silkworm. Silkworms are raised on silkworm farms where they are fed only mulberry leaves. Mature silkworms are placed in special containers where they spin their cocoons. Liquid silk is spit out of a tiny hole in the silkworm's mouth called a spinneret. The liquid silk hardens into fiber on contact with the air. The cocoon is made of a single half-mile-long continuous silk strand. If left alone in its cocoon, the caterpillar inside will change into an adult silk moth and emerge a few weeks later, ruining the silk thread. Rather than let this happen, the cocoons are treated with heat to kill the moths. Then the cocoons are placed in hot water baths to loosen the sticky glue that holds them together. The fibers of 5 to 8 cocoons are carefully unwound and pressed together to make a thread. Silk thread is very strong--a thread the size of a human hair can hold more than a pound of weight. An interesting historical note: In the early 1700's silk production was a major industry in Colonial America and school-age children performed much of this work. To hatch the eggs, children wore cloth pouches filled with silkworm eggs under their clothes to keep them warm. They were also were responsible for gathering up to 75 pounds of mulberry leaves each day to feed the growing silkworms.

How Synthetics Are Made

Over 150 years ago, scientists who studied silkworms successfully created silk-like fibers from chemicals taken from mulberry trees. They called the fibers "artificial silk." Later re-named rayon, it was first produced commercially in 1910. Rayon is made from 2 chemicals that are found in cellulose, the main component of tree wood. To make rayon, trees like spruce, pine, and hemlock are chopped up, mixed, and heated with chemicals to make wood pulp, and then dried into sheets. The sheets of cellulose are soaked in more chemicals that change them into a gooey yellowish liquid called viscose. This liquid is squirted slowly through a special metal plate with tiny holes called spinnerets (named after the silkworm's spinneret) and into an acid bath. Once it touches the acid, the syrupy viscose hardens into fibers which are then twisted into rayon thread.

Polyester is also made from 2 chemicals, but these chemicals are found in petroleum oil. Just as with rayon, the chemicals are heated together and then forced through a spinneret to make fibers. The polyester threads are then stretched to make them stronger, longer, and more flexible before they are woven into fabric.

The history of fabrics and their many uses throughout history is as fascinating as it is complex. Long just a dream, textile and genetic scientists have been working on how to successfully make artificial spider silk. Spiders spin the strongest fiber known to humans. A single strand of spider silk has many times the strength of a same-sized strand of steel. By placing spider genes in goat udders, goats make milk that contains spider silk proteins! Textile scientists hope to use artificial spider silk to weave ultra-light bullet proof clothing to protect police and military personnel among other uses. Equally exciting are 2 new medical applications for fabrics. The LifeShirt and the Smart Shirt are woven with medical measuring devices that can monitor bodily functions like heartbeat, breathing, swallowing, coughing, temperature, and perspiration levels. Information from the shirts' monitors are saved in microchips in the shirt. The information can be sent through a computer to doctors for evaluation. These new shirts will help medical personnel keep track of the health of home-bound patients as well as astronauts.

National Science Education Standards

Unifying Concepts and Processes (K-8)

* Systems, order, and organization

* Evidence, models, and explanation

* Constancy, change, and measurement

* Form and function

Standard A: Science as Inquiry (K-8)

* Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

* Understanding about scientific inquiry

Standard B: Physical Science (K-4)

* Properties of objects and materials (5-8)

* Properties and changes of properties in matter

Standard E: Science and Technology (K-4)

* Abilities of technological design

* Understanding about science and technology

* Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans (5-8)

* Abilities of technological design

* Understandings about science and technology

Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (K-4)

* Types of resources

* Science and technology in local challenges (5-8)

* Populations, resources, and environments

* Science and technology in society

Standard G: History and Nature of Science (K-8)

* Science as a human endeavor

... SHOE BOX LOOM ...

You need: a sturdy shoe box (or box top), scissors, several feet of yarn in 2 or more colors, tape.

Cut several slits about 1/2 inch apart on each end of the shoe box. Wrap the yarn across the length of the box passing the yarn though each slit as you wind from left to right. The yarn should be wrapped as tightly as possible without crushing the box. This yarn is called the warp. Once you have finished wrapping the box, use a second color of yarn to begin weaving. This yarn is called the weft. Tape one end of this yarn to the side of the box. Weave this yarn in an over-and-under pattern across the warp yarn beginning at the top. Continue weaving from one side to the other in an alternating over-and-under pattern until the entire box is filled. Demonstrate how to gently slide the weft yarn snugly together after each row in order to make a nice tight weave. Tell them to maintain an even tension across the warp as they weave. Gently remove the weaving from the loom.

Level Pre-A

Main Concepts: Tiny threads called fibers are twisted together to make thread. Thread is woven into cloth to make clothes and things like towels, curtains, sheets, and blankets.

Picture Activity

Explain that fibers can come from plants and animals. Cotton grows around the seeds formed in the flower of a cotton plant. Wool is cut or sheared from sheep. Warm sweaters are often made of wool. Ask everyone who is wearing a T-shirt or blue jeans to raise their hand. Tell them that they are all wearing cotton. Ask them to think of other things they use made of fabric.

Vocabulary

Have your students write in the letter i on the long sleeved shirt to spell fiber and fabric. Have them write in the letter o to make the words wool and cotton on the T-shirt. Read all the words aloud together.

Weekly Lab

You need: a large piece of construction paper cut with slits about an inch apart, strips of construction paper (about 3/4 inch wide) in 2 other colors. Woven cloth or fabric is made by crossing one set of threads with another in an over-and-under pattern so they become intertwined. Weaving is done on a loom. In this lab, your students will weave strips of paper to make a woven paper place mat. Demonstrate how to weave the paper through the slits in an over-under pattern. Explain that the next row will begin under-over. Show them how to gently slide the woven paper strips up so they fit snugly.

Contest

See the Contest Information box on the front page of the Teaching Notes. Tell your students to fill in all the information neatly and clearly. Encourage everyone to enter and join in the fun.

Weekly Problem

Answers: 1) c 2) d 3) a 4) b. Tell them to look very carefully. Cloth can be knitted or woven in many patterns.

Storytelling

Read the following to your students. It describes how sheep's wool is turned into yarn and then woven into cloth. After you are finished, have them cut out the 4 pictures and paste them in the correct order: 1) a-shearing, 2) d-combing or carding, 3) b-spinning, 4) c-weaving. Do you know the rhyming song, "Mary Had a Little Lamb"? The last part of the song says, "Its fleece was white as snow." A lamb's fleece is its soft coat of curly wool fibers. Once the lambs grow up and the weather is warm, the sheep farmer gives each of them a haircut. He carefully cuts off every bit of wool with special clippers called shears. The sheared wool is washed and combed straight with brushes. Brushing straightens the curly wool fibers so they can be made into yarn. The wool fibers are twisted into yarn using a spinning wheel or big spinning machines. Once the yarn is finished, it can be made into cloth. Wool yarn can be woven into fabric on a loom. Now have them retell this story in their own words. You may also want to read Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomi de Paola or A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Science Weekly, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:curriculum suggestions
Publication:Science Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2002
Words:5874
Previous Article:Hawaii.
Next Article:Air power.
Topics:


Related Articles
Ideas for nonwovens in the 1990s.
Queen of her craft.
Comparing Nonwoven Processes.
Nonwoven Fabric, Filter Medium And Process For Producing The Same.
Fabric Properties: Knowing your fiber can help create an effective nonwoven. (Holliday Talk).
What is a nonwoven: the best is yet to come for the nonwovens industry. (Holliday Talk).
Kaleidoscope of Cloth: Molas, Story Cloth, Kente Cloth, and Tapa Cloth.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters