Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Rag Coat

"Minna's family can't afford a coat for her, but Papa keeps her warm in winter with a burlap sack and Mama's patchwork quilt; this happy family understands that ``People only need people, and nothing else.'' Soon, Minna loses one of those people: Papa, a coal miner, gets the lung sickness and dies, after urging eight- year-old Minna to start school. There's still the problem of the coat, solved by neighbors who contribute scraps and help to make one of patchwork lined with the old sack, ready almost as soon as cold weather begins. At first, the other children tease Minna about her outlandish garment; then, learning that the patchwork contains bits of their own histories, they begin to honor Minna and the stories she tells about the coat's many pieces."  ~ Kirkus Reviews, Amazon
After reading the story, we observed and talked about the quilt coat that I found on ebay (see photo of Aubrey above).  Then Daddy showed the girls the quilt that his Granny Nash made out of feed sacks around 1945.  
The story takes place during America's colonial times, where cooking was on a wood stove in a log home, children walked to a one-room schoolhouse with or without shoes, and evening activities were done by candlelight.  For our field trip, we had a picnic and went to the Colonial Market Faire at Fort Yargo State Park.
We learned about typical homelife during that time: how families dressed, cooked, cleaned, slept, played, made furniture and pottery, and sold their wares.

 The girls were fascinated with the children who were dressed in colonial-era dresses.
(Log home and cooking area)

We visited each of the market tents.
We watched a demonstration of wood carving to make a table leg.
After watching this woman wash dishes in a pot of boiling pot, we were reminded of how blessed we are to have a dishwasher!

It was a treat to watch the transformation of a mound of Georgia red clay into a beautiful pitcher.
Go along books:
Go along movies:
Lapbook activities:
Other resources:
Inspiring blogs:

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