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Cotton in the Classroom - Cotton Education Kit Review by Sheila Quach

Agrica, LLC
309 N Market St, #715, Brenham TX 77834
(713) 234-6442
https://www.CottonAcres.com

I was like a kid on Christmas morning when I opened my Cotton Education Kit.  This was a sentimental moment, because my mom picked cotton as a little girl in Florida many moons ago.  I was thrilled to be able to learn more and share with my kids this soft creation we usually take for granted.  We learned so much and never had we realized all the hard work it takes to grow, maintain and produce so many cotton products.

In the kit we received our very own pack of cotton seed with planting instructions.  We planted them in little cups and with a week they started sprouting.  They are going to make a beautiful addition to our garden this year.  Also included were clear, labeled packages of a cotton boll from the farm, separated cottonseed from raw cotton, cotton Lint, cotton sliver that makes yarn, cotton yarn and a piece of denim material that is the final product.  There was even a cute replica of an actual cotton bale that gets sent to mills.  It was fascinating to say the least to see cotton from each stage of the process.  We thought the lint was soft, but the sliver was like butter.

The Kit also came with a lovely Cotton in the Classroom brochure filled with facts, pictures, a map and many lesson plan ideas.  For my son and I we used this as a unit study that lasted about 3 weeks.  I decided to put everything out on a special tray that we use off and on for examining things closer and to kind of keep things organized.  With the help of their website and brochure we were able to dig deep into the history of cotton, where and how it grows, along with the process of turning it into cloth.  We went on a cotton scavenger hunt around the house and organized the collected things by the amount of cotton in them.  It was easy to feel the difference between something that was 100% cotton than not.  We also read about Eli Whitney and tried to build a cotton gin from Legos.  We drew out the life cycle of a cotton plant in our nature journals and even experimented a little with lighting and temperature changes with our seedlings. 

My son had the best time with this hands-on kit and asked if we could do it again and again.  I loved the sturdy box everything came in, so I packed it up along with our small notebook we used for documenting all our research and pictures in and saving it for a rainy day.  This kit is recommended for kiddos in grades 1-8 and I think it would be a fabulous summer time activity or unit study during the school year.  We loved getting up close and personal to actual cotton straight from the farm.  Having the handy brochure was wonderful to guide us on our little adventure.  It was simple, easy to read and gave us the flexibility to really go off on little educational trails that interested us the most. 

-Product review by Sheila Quach, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018

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