If you knit or crochet, you have several lesson plan ideas for homeschooling at your fingertips. Look here for the free lesson plan on using crochet to teach math. This second in a series of free lesson plans using knit and crochet will focus on geography.
Your child has probably watched you knit or crochet, so expand on your craft time as a means to explore various cultures and topography of the world. Learn about natural fiber yarns that are spun from plants or the hair of many different animals.
Materials Needed for Home School Lesson on Geography
Globe or world atlas
Various natural fiber yarns (cotton, wool, bamboo)
(You may use information found on the internet if you don’t have specialty yarns on hand and don’t wish to purchase them for this home school lesson)
Geography Lesson Using Yarn Made From Plants
We normally associate cotton with thread that’s woven into material for clothing, but cotton is also spun into yarn to knit and crochet with. If you knit or crochet dishcloths, you probably have cotton yarn on hand but if not, you can purchase a small ball of it at WalMart or any yarn/craft store, or simply look up pictures and information online to use for your home schooling tools. (If you don’t use crocheted dishcloths, you’re missing out on a real treat. A simple pattern to try can be found here).
Bamboo flooring has become very popular in recent years, but did you know they also make yarn from bamboo? Yarn made from the bamboo plant is surprisingly very soft, and since it is a natural fiber made from a fast-growing tree, it is also eco-friendly.
Discuss with the student how these two plants are grown and research what countries or regions have the type of climate and soil conditions that are needed for a successful harvest.
Use Various Animal Coat Fibers to Teach Geography
When you say wool, the first thing that comes to mind is probably sheep. Did you know that there are many breeds of sheep, each bearing a distinctive type of wool fleece? See Mielke’s Fiber Arts for a list of the various types of wool that come from different breeds of sheep.
Mohair yarn is made from the coat of the angora goat, and cashmere yarn comes from the cashmere goat. Alpaca, llama, camel and even buffalo are other types of livestock bred for their hair to be spun into luxurious specialty yarns.
Using an internet search engine, find out what areas of the world raise these animals, and have your home school class find them on the map or globe. Is one particular country more suited for that livestock’s habitat, or is it regional? Are any areas of the U.S. suitable for raising these animals for their hair?
With a little thought and imagination, you can take your students on a virtual trip around the world right from home, on a magic carpet made of natural fiber yarn that you knit or crochet yourself.
Mielke’s Fiber Arts