I am always looking for new resources to share with teachers on my favorite fiber! Years ago, a friend from the Mississippi Delta wrote A Cotton Pickin’ Story for Toddlers. There are also a number of publications available through the National Cotton Council. But I just can get enough of video! And when a friend sent this cotton educational video connected to TED, well, obviously I had to sit down and soak it up!
Cotton fits so many different courses of study, so hearing about history and how cotton offers such strength and flexibility. I love thinking about Incas using cotton as breast plates and other clothing for warriors. It’s why some of the most dangerous jobs still feature cotton so prominently in the uniforms and clothing guidelines.
There is a lot of information built in here including how cotton physiology works with seeds inside the cotton boll producing the fiber. Understanding what a cotton plant looks like and how the fiber inside a young cotton boll pushes to elongate and showing how the cell walls build out. And this is part of the reason Pima cotton and Egyptian cotton is so popular. Some of these pieces of fiber strength & length are tested in HVI labs.
The kinds of uses go through so many products we use. Sure we think about our favorite t-shirts and jeans but how many of us think about the uses like diapers and coffee filters? Students will once they watch this!
A Personal Cotton Aside
From the opening, when they quote none other than BB King about cotton being a “force of nature.” I am in! Close friends and family all know that BB has been a major music influence in my life.
While I was living in the Mississippi Delta for a bit more than a decade, I would regularly see BB play, but I also saw him when I lived in New York and Memphis. But it wasn’t until I lived in Mississippi that I heard him talk about cotton as he broke ground for a museum that would bear his name. That museum is in an old cotton gin! He talked about how the cotton gin was both symbolic and a physical touchstone for him and for so many others in the Delta explaining cotton is a big part of who Southerners are. And he even took time in the dreaded summer heat to ask for the much needed rain understanding farmers needed the break. You can see photos from my run-ins with him over the years on my other site, JPlovesLIFE