This year our Middle’s history classes have been focused on American history and it has been so much fun! It has been such a pleasant change to have a year long theme and it's really given the students a chance to grasp some larger concepts. We’ve covered the 13 colonies, the French & Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812. During the last three quarters we’ve talked repeatedly about the ideas of taxation without representation, human liberty, equality, geography, how different governments have been run in the past, and so much more.
Today though I’d like to share about a different recurring theme - that there were no grocery stores! I can not tell you how many times I’ve been faced with a room of shocked faces when they learned the lengths people had to go to for basic necessities or how many things they often did without. More than one student suggested people should have just taken a ship back to England to buy sugar the week we made Plantation Muffins, which really weren’t so bad (http://www.foodtimeline.org/statefoods.html#southcarolina).
Yesterday after reviewing key battles in the War of 1812 we discussed clothing. How fabric was sourced (cotton/wool), how it was worked, and what steps were taken if they wanted a color other than white, grey, or tan. Which leads us to this…
We started with a mix of vinegar and water (aim for a 1:4 ratio) and added red onion to one pot and purple cabbage to the other. The mixtures simmered for about an hour before we added our white cloths. I pulled all but one cloth out near the end of 3rd block and you can see the results here, I really love the bright color the purple cabbage created.
The final cloth spent the the afternoon in the red onion dye but at the end of the day I placed it in a container with liquid from the onion and cabbage and allowed it to soak for about 24 hours. Just look at that intense color! All from vinegar, water, and veggies.
If you decide to try natural cloth dying at home let us know how it goes and be sure to follow us on Facebook to see what's in store for 4th Quarter.