Wherjagethatshirt? Exploring environmental, political and business issues embedded in a favorite garment.
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
Over the course of 10 workshops, 20 students in 7th grade will deepen their understanding of the origins and outcomes of their fashion choices. In this integration of the science, language arts and visual arts curriculum, the students will trace the design and production of their clothes to their original sources. They will work in small groups to research one of four phases of production as it pertains to their favorite garments: (1) origins of the fibers, (2) weaving and dyeing, (3) design, cutting, and sewing, and (4) shipping, marketing, wholesale, and retail. The goal is for the students to understand the fashion industry and how marketing can manipulate their choice in what they wear. They will then collaborate to design a story quilt to share what they have learned. Each student will design, cut, sew, and embroider a square and together compose the quilt squares and sew them to the backing. Student journaling will allow them to reflect on what they are learning from their research as well as the process of constructing the story quilt.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
Problem: For most of human history, people have had first-hand experience with where their clothing came from. Much of it, they made themselves! Part of our disconnect with nature today comes from our lack of connection to where the things we use come from and what their impact is on the environment. This unit of study addresses that gap in understanding with the hope that student research and expression of their findings in a story quilt illustrating phases in the production of one of their favorite articles of clothing will enhance their awareness of how nature, politics, design, and marketing all come together in their closets
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
Students now look at their clothing in a new perspective. They realize that it takes multiple steps and people to complete an article of clothing.
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?:
Students were assessed on their presentation. Each students was a part of the presentation. Students covered all of the steps in the process of making clothing. The presentation was a nice closing piece and review. Students appeared to have enjoyed the project. They not only found the process making clothes interesting, but also enjoyed the hands on aspects to the project. Students enjoyed dyeing the fabric and designing then sewing their own patch.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
The fire in Bangladesh that happened during the residency- helped to even more stress the poor working conditions in clothing factories.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
Students learned how a shirt started out by being made from the ground (cotton) to finally being marketed at a store. They learned all about the cotton plant- which they were beforehand unfamiliar with. They also learned how dye is made and how clothing is dyed. Students in that process also learned how to tie-dye as well. Students learned how to sew. Sewing is only an elective at MACS- so not all students had the skill.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
In the future, it would be so much easier if the coordinator (art teacher) is there full time. In fact that is the plan for next year. Every week, it would feel as if we had to catch up.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
It will make the process much smoother, especially in terms of communication.
Core Content Standards
Production and Distribution of Writing
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Speaking and Listening:
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Science / Dimension 1: Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Science / Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts That Have Common Applications Across Fields:
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Structure and function
Science / Dimension 3: Core Ideas In Four Disciplinary Areas / Life Sciences:
From molecules to organisms: Structures and processes
21st Century Learning Skills
Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation:
Work Creatively with Others
Learning and Innovation / Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:
Learning and Innovation / Communication and Collaboration:
Collaborate with Others
Life and Career / Flexibility and Adaptability:
Adapt to Change
Life and Career / Initiative and Self-Direction:
Manage Goals and Time
Life and Career / Leadership and Responsiblity:
National Core Arts Standards