High: 68°F ~ Low: 41°F
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Skinning Stuffed Animals -- It's Educational!Posted Friday, October 28, 2011, at 3:16 PM
My kids are part of a co-op group that meets every Thursday for classes. The parents are the teachers, and we all sign up to teach classes that are in our area of expertise each semester. This year the board voted to plan the classes around a "Way Out West" theme. This made it a little tricky for me, since I was planning on teaching ballet. Cowboys in tutus just didn't seem like a good idea. So I decided to teach a class called "Working With Leather."
I'm not a leather expert, by any means, but I do have some limited experience. My dad is a book binder by trade, and I did skin a rabbit for the 4-H Tanning project years ago. So I did some research and prepared enough lessons for a six-week class covering the uses of leather, how leather is made, leather crafts, and leather care.
I didn't think the 7- and 8-year-olds in my class would want to actually skin live animals, so I cooked up the brilliant idea of using stuffed animals. We tied yarn around the legs of their teddy bears, stuffed dogs, and even a frog, hung them upside-down from a coat peg, and then used scissors to slaughter them. We cut the heads off first, so the "blood" could drain out, and then slit them down the belly and up the legs, cutting out the feet. We scraped the skins with butter knives and then soaked them in buckets of water, salt, and alum. We stirred the skins with wooden spoons while I explained the process of tanning to the children. Then we tacked up the hides on pieces of cardboard and Styrofoam for display.
The funny thing was that we had a photographer visit our co-op to take school pictures earlier in the day. She had her equipment set up in my classroom, and was just packing it up when we started whacking off the teddy bears' heads. I think she was just a little bit disturbed at first. She said, "This is a very interesting class. What are you teaching the children?" I explained to her what we were doing, and she just laughed, saying that she had always thought homeschooled children were nice!
I guess we are nice, but Teddy had better look out!
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]
Homeschooling -- The Next Generation
- Blog RSS feed
- Comments RSS feed
- Send email to Lisa Luper
Hot topicsFamily Vacation to Texas
(0 ~ 9:28 AM, Jan 14)
Teenagers and classic literature
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my Wal-Mart job.
State Superintendent Race Important for Indiana Homeschoolers