We have started a new unit for Clothing. Children are interested in clothing from a very young age. In fact, by the time that children are in preschool they have already developed a distinct preference for colors, fabrics, and styles. This interest can be a starting point for a variety of learning - studying different clothing, fabrics, the processes involved in making and selling clothes, the specialized purposes of some garments, and how clothing has changed over time.
Starting our clothing study was very fun for the children. We share a unique attribute on our campus of having classes that study the same subjects but at different times. We began our study when Mrs. Diane’s class was wrapping theirs up. This allowed us to schedule some unique WOW experiences for the children. First off we discussed how cloth was made and I brought some crochet and knitting projects for the children to see. We discussed the process of needlework and we also discussed the difference between those methods of cloth making and weaving. The children were amazed and loved getting to watch and touch the yarn.
Other WOW experiences came in the forms of visitors who showed us the special clothes that they wear to work in. We saw several people including a doctor and a policeman. They all talked about the tools that they use as well as what was important about their clothing. The children learned about white doctors’ coats and about the special uniforms that policemen wear for protection. We also learned that there are letters on clothing. These letters spell words that tell us about the person wearing the clothing. This could be a name, a job position, a location, or any other important information. The children are fascinated by letters and it is important that they learn to identify them in random order instead of just alphabetical order. It is also an important part of developmental learning when the children learn to associate letters with words and specific meanings. Finally, it is also just as important that our children learn about important jobs in their community. This is a part of social studies and really helps them make connections between home and school life.