Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Teaching History Through Fashion

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My girls are really into fashion design.

We schooled over the summer, though it was rather low-key.

One of the things we did this summer was a fashion unit study.

I couldn't find anything, so I created one.

There were sheets for each decade.

We bought a book that went through fashions for each decade from the 1800s through the 2000s.

The first page of each section showed the girls how to draw a common dress of that era.

Then, I created pages with lines for descriptions of hemlines, necklines, shoes, accessories, and hairstyles.
There was a place beside each lined description that the girls filled in, where they could draw examples of common shoes, handbags, etc.
I taught them how to use Google Images to find something they wanted to draw.

Since we are using (& LOVING) Story of the World,
which is history in chronological order,
we started with The Ancients and plan to spend this year learning about
Medieval Times,
we didn't have plans for the girls to cover American history in the near future.
So, I decided to include a page about history in each era.
Together we found overviews of each era.
The girls learned Twentieth Century American history.
They learned about the sweatshops in the 1920s,
the Great Despression in the 1930s,
the Dust Bowl,
World War II,
the Baby Boomers,
the Flower Children,
the Carter era,
the Reagan era,
the technology era,
and the new millenium.

We all enjoyed this very child-interest-led study.
It incorporated their interest in fashion,
with art,
& history.

I also asked them IF and HOW they thought history impacted fashion.
I told them there was no right or wrong answer.
It was just what they thought.
This was a completely new concept to them.
They were not comfortable with it at first.
Then they caught on and started to enjoy the discussion.