Sew to Speak and Learn
Many adults in today’s society are unable to sew by hand or operate a sewing machine. Many years ago, most adult women and many children were taught and well equipped with this knowledge and skill so much that they were able to create many of their own clothing, quilts, toys, and make repairs to their clothing in just a few minutes. I witnessed my own grandmother doing these tasks daily. When working with middle and high school students, it is often difficult to find games and activities to keep them interested and engaged that incorporates many aspects of learning. Sewing would be a wonderful way for them to be creative using a hands-on-learning approach that requires many educational subject areas such as mathematics, history, and life skills. Many kids and adults sit around on their cell phones and iPads today to pass time. It is very difficult to simply find a seamstress to make alterations in our hometown, mostly because learning to sew and operate a sewing machine is a thing of the past. I will admit, I have never learned how to operate a sewing machine myself, but I am ready and willing to learn right alongside my students. It’s never too late to learn and I want my students to know and see this belief in practice. I will use this combination sewing/embroidery machine to learn and teach myself first so that I can in return teach my middle and high school students how to operate the sewing machine and learn all the components that go with this skill. Under supervision of the teacher and any parent/teacher volunteers, the students will learn how to follow a set of written directions to create a simple pattern for a quilt square, pillow, stuffed animal, or other project of their choice. They will follow the instructions through completion of their projects, assess their completed project and problem solve along the way to perfect their product. All of this learning will incorporate their communication skills with each other and myself. They will learn how to answer reflective questions to assess their skill and to perfect it as well. My goal for them is to continue to improve communication skills (speech, language, fluency, and voice) throughout the project while learning a new life skill that they may find as a new hobby, talent, and/or means of entrepreneurship. I will need to keep an open mind myself in this learning process and recruit any parent or other teacher volunteers who may be skilled in sewing and/or using a sewing machine. I will use videos from you tube to teach myself further so that I can instruct students in the learning process. We will need a combination sewing/embroidery machine bundle that includes all the materials for operating the sewing machine. I will look for donations and scraps of materials that we can use from my own personal stash of crafting supplies and find others who may be willing to donate more fabric for us to use in our creations. Will students become interested and motivated to learn the new skill of using a sewing/embroidery machine to create projects that they can be proud of and incorporate strong communication skills in their learning environment? Most of these students are not familiar with sewing and there are very few people around who sew in our region. It has become a thing of the past. I will be able to see the progress they have made during my classes as they construct their projects. I will also be able to analyze their pre- and post-project evaluations and determine whether or not their outcomes were met through my teaching and our learning together.